3rd March 2022
Bees or sugar? Warmer winters, a result of climate change, encourages aphids to thrive. Aphids can spread yellow virus that can damage sugar beet crops. Where sugar beet is not grown organically (which would be the better option for our own health and that of the soil) farmers can choose to spray their crops with pesticides. This year British Sugar has again been granted permission to spray sugar beet with Cruiser SB, a neonicotinoid that is known to be harmful to bees and which is banned in Europe. Is the loss of some of the sugar beet crop, sufficient reason to knowingly harm bees and other insects, as well as polluting rivers and damaging the soil?
The better option would be to reintroduce organic production of sugar beet here in the UK, using methods such as ‘crop selection, crop rotation, fertility build, inter-cropping, establishing insect predator habitat’ https://cdn.friendsoftheearth.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/Sugar%20Beet%20briefing_FOE_Buglife_PAN_02.2018_0.pdf