Today, the 20th, is World Bee Day, recognized by the United Nations. This is because bees play an important role in food production and ecosystem protection around the world, but they are facing extinction. Especially in Korea, the loss of akashi trees, which are the main food source for bees, is a serious problem.
Environment reporter Jang Se-man reported.
For bees raised by beekeeping farmers, this time of year is the only time they can taste natural flower honey.
More than 80% of the country’s natural honey production relies on akashi flowers, as this is the season when they bloom.
The rest of the year, they have to survive on sugary water from farmers and wait until the following spring.
The problem is that these akashi flowers aren’t blooming like they used to.
[Park Myung-joon / Paju Beekeeping Farmer : There are usually 22-23 flowers per (acacia tree), but there are only 18-19 (this year so far)].
The acacia trees were planted in large numbers during the forest greening in the 70s, and over 40 years later, the number of flowers has decreased as a kind of aging phenomenon.
On top of that, the acacia forests themselves are disappearing.
These are acacia trees that have been cut down at the base.
Private forest owners are favoring more economically viable trees like larch, so as you can see, the acacia is taking a back seat.
From a high of 320,000 ha in the 1980s, acacia forests have lost nearly 90% 메이저놀이터of their area in recent years.
In addition to mites, excessive pesticides, and extreme weather, the lack of food sources is also contributing to bee deaths.
[Chung Chul-woo / Professor of Botany, Andong University] If there are fewer bees (due to fewer pollinators), it also affects the health of plants that reproduce by pollinators, and it can (pose) a great threat to the ecosystem because there are fewer seeds or fruits.
Greenpeace’s research shows that we need to significantly increase the area of pollinator plants by at least twice as much as we do now, and current government plans fall far short.
In particular, it is urgent to diversify the source plants so that they are not concentrated in certain tree species and do not overlap in flowering time, as shown in the previous case.