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31 July 2015

Organic farming combats the huge death toll of pollinating insects

Another reason to love organic food: confirmation that non-intensive farming reduces the risk to bees and encourages repopulation

Even Sherlock Holmes questioned the disappearance of bees and the worrying result that it would have on the agricultural world, overturning fortunes in a devastating fashion. Einstein himself, pondering the effects of depriving the flowers of the presence of their most important suppliers of nectar and pollen, predicted a disaster of enormous scope that would accelerate the demise of the human race.

Why are bees disappearing? Thanks to a sophisticated sense of direction that makes these insects virtual compasses with wings, each bee is able to move many kilometres away from its hive and it never gets lost on the way home.

A famous ethologist, Giorgio Celli, wrote a wonderful treatise entitled: The Mind of the Bee. Regarding the extinction of this insect, the animal behaviour expert gave his theory, both moving but also alarming. Insecticides in agriculture are disturbing the bees’ coordinates. The chemicals have drugged the minds insects of the insects, causing them to doze off. Since bees can only survive in communities, if they lose their internal map leading them back to the hive, they just die on their own. That’s why organic farming, which does not use chemicals to counter the threat of plant pests, not only ensures the well-being of these outstanding pollinators, but also their restocking in the natural world.

Instead of toxic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and neonicotinoids, organic farming prefers to support the health of the ecosystem, protecting natural habitats and encouraging biodiversity. Also, one of the aims of organic farms is to promote the variety of plants in the surrounding area. This activity has a consistently beneficial impact on increasing the bee population. The effective intervention of an agricultural policy that can help the growth of insect pollinators is essential for the planet, because according to The Organic Center there has been an alarming decline in bee numbers in recent years.
Thus the practices of organic farming not only represent hope for the future, but also provide also a happy solution to a disturbing trend, a solution that can be integrated by all farms and agricultural producers.


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