26 July 2019
Professor Malik Muminov: 'Bees are unique biological indicators of environmental conditions'

Our expert comments on disturbing news about mass extinction of bees from all across Russia.

Dr. Muminov specified why the bee families are dying, “Bees are unique biological indicators of environmental conditions. The deaths of honey bees are a signal to us to rethink our stance on using chemicals against insects and weeds.

“If there is a field treated with chemicals near a bee yard, a bee can get into a pesticide cloud on its way and get particles of chemicals back into its hive. When pesticides and herbicides reach certain levels, bees start to die. And one bee family can have up to 80,000 members.”

There is a lack of communication between pesticide users and bee yard companies, says Muminov. Bee owners are often not informed about pesticide works in advance. Also, there are many violations in procedures themselves. Firstly, non-certified chemicals may be used. Secondly, concentrations can be way above the recommended. And thirdly, chemicals must be dispersed late at night or early in the morning when bees do not collect materials.

This year, the situation is especially dire. In Tatarstan alone, 3 thousand bee families have died so far.

The Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a legal framework to return powers to control pesticide use to the Agricultural Inspection Agency (Rosselkhoznadzor), something that was taken away from the agency back in 2011 when there was a campaign to deregulate agricultural production.


Source text: Larisa Busil

Translation: Yury Nurmeev

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