Costa Rican Beekeepersdemand greater protection for these insects through the ban on agrotoxicfipronil and neonicotinoids that have caused massive poisoning and the death of millions of bees, irreversible damage to biodiversity and contamination of ecosystems.
According to the National Chamber for the Promotion of Beekeeping, between 2010 and 2020, 2,200 hives were lost in the Los Santos area alone; and in the year 2020, approximately 30 events of massive bee poisoning were recorded and the death of approximately 100 million bees. For this, if the mortality seen in 2020 is maintained, Costa Rica could run out of bees in the year 2035.
Fipronil is banned in more than 30 countries worldwide, including those of the European Union, as it is considered highly dangerous for bees, insects, and agricultural ecosystems.
Since 2019, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) to carry out a scientific study on the effects on health, the environment, and honey-producing bees of the use of agrochemicals that contain the insecticide. neonicotinoids. In 2022 the ministries of Health, Agriculture and Livestock (MAG); and Environment and Energy (MINAE) issued a technical opinion where they recommend canceling the sanitary registry and banning the pesticide Fipronil.
However, in November 2022 the current government issued Executive Decree No. 43767-S-MINAE that does not cover agricultural use that is killing bees and only prohibits industrial and professional or industrial use that is related to the application made by companies of this product in physical facilities, closed areas, buildings or houses, as well as for veterinary use. That is to say, this decree does not help the bees at all; it is just the outdoor agricultural use of Fipronil that is truly killing them. Instead, this decree only basically restricted its use against fleas and ticks.
The most important pollinators
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) cited by UNA, 80% of flowering plant species are pollinated, especially insects. Bees are the most important pollinators, visiting about 90% of the 107 types of crops globally. In addition, 87 crops of importance for food in the world require pollination services.
Data from the Center for Tropical Beekeeping Research (CINAT) of the National University (UNA) our country has more than 650 species of bees, of which 58 are species of native stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponini). They are key for the conservation of diversity in tropical ecosystems and for food security and the production of: avocado, chayote, coffee, tomato, melon, watermelon. In addition, 1,500 families depend directly or indirectly on beekeeping throughout the country.
According to the UNA “worldwide, a decline in bee populations has been reported, to the point that there is no record between 2006 and 2015 of 25% of the 20,000 known species, in relation to the number of species counted before” of the 1990s”.In our country in 2020 the Legislative Assembly approved a law that declared beekeeping of ‘public interest’ and created the National Bee Day.