Counting on …day 111

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 

See also https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/14/uk-charities-condemn-betrayal-of-allowing-bee-killing-pesticide-in-sugar-beet-crops

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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