13 April 2001
Now foot-and-mouth threatens crops

by FWi staff

FOOT-AND-MOUTH disease poses a threat to crop pollination because bee-keepers cant get to their hives, claims the British Beekeepers Association.

Restrictions preventing access to hives in infected areas have made it impossible to feed bees fast running out of winter reserves, it has warned.

Devon-based chairman Glyn Davies said many fruit and field bean growers import hives to ensure pollination and maximise output.

As starvation looms, there could be fewer bees, he said. “Most keepers would have been to see their hives by now to provide some supplementary food.”

The late spring means there is very little forage available. Dandelions usually a good source of nectar, are not expected to flower until mid-April.

“There is a bit of willow around which may help, but the next week or two could be critical,” said Mr Davies.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage