Risk of 'environmental disaster' as heat wave upsets bees

Italian beekeepers say not just honey production at risk

(ANSA) - Florence, August 8 - Italian beekeepers association UNAAPI warned of a possible "environmental disaster" on Tuesday because the long drought and the intense 'Lucifer' heat wave have upset the nation's bees.
    The association stressed that the problem does not just concern honey production, but was a much broader issue for the nation's agriculture and environment.
    "There is the risk of an environmental disaster in Italy," UNAAPI said.
    "Driven crazy by the climate, the bees don't just not produce honey (2017 production down by up to 80%), but they are unable to provide pollination services to agriculture. "(Because of the drought) the flowers no longer secrete nectar and pollen and plants, in particular trees, are in a perennial situation of suffering.
    "The bees are no long sending warnings, but reports of a loss of fertility and incipient desertification". Farmers' association Coldiretti Tuesday said the weather meant Italy's honey production for 2017 will be around 10,000 tonnes, approximately half the average.


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