Andreas Böck, dairy farmer in Bavaria, Sternenfair member and partner of BEE FRIENDLY
“The yield is significantly higher when the pollination is properly done by the bees. For the pasture, we can say that we have about a 20% increase in yield when bees are there. More specifically, in my practice*, BEE FRIENDLY approach means mowing the meadows early in the morning or late at night, so at times of day when the bees are not foraging. During the day, the flowers can be a death trap for bees, because the mowing equipment approaches too quickly. Thus, the cows benefit indirectly from the bees as the grass they eat actually does grow better, if many bees help in pollination. “
* The Sternenfair brand is already committed in a GMO-Free approach.
Vincent Lédée, professional beekeeper since 2006
“I have 200 beehives in Loire Atlantique, western France. The landscape that surrounds my apiaries is essentially wooded, local agriculture being made of a mixed farming. This environment, which may seem favorable to bees, doesn’t prevent me to lament every year several cases of pesticide poisoning in my herd. My dream is to see all the farmers in my area to convert to organic farming!
But I’m realistic: today, conventional agriculture feeds the bulk of the population, specifically through supermarkets. I know I cannot expect the elimination of synthetic pesticides. My hope for my bees therefore lies in changes in practices regarding the use of these products.
In my opinion, the BEE FRIENDLY label brings an answer. It limits the use of pesticides to molecules that do not harm the bees, but also encourages farmers to implement other beneficial practices to bees and pollinating wild fauna such as planting hedges, crop diversification, and others.
As now public opinion and therefore consumers are increasingly sensitive to the preservation of bees, I’m sure the fellow farmers who will engage in this approach will also derive benefits at marketing their production.”