Wildfires in Sardinia likely to have killed 30 million bees

image credit - livescience

With bees responsible for 76 per cent of pollination of Europe’s food crops, there’s few species more vital to human survival.

But they have been very badly affected by Sardinia’s July wildfires, which ravaged 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) and destroyed olive groves, forests, farms and vineyards. More than 1,500 people had to evacuate their homes, with many not yet able return home.

Beekeepers on the Italian island have said 500 beehives have been affected, amounting to 30 million bees. Environmentalists estimate the damage could amount to €1 billion.

The regional government is being urged to assess the damage in order to compensate farmers and breeders. Agronomists and environmentalists believe it will take at least 15 years to rebuild the woodland areas destroyed by the fire.

A fundraising campaign, called ‘Save the Queen’, has been launched to help beekeepers. They are fundraising to repopulate the area with bees.

“With €10, those who take part in the campaign donate 3,000 bees; with €80, 24,000 bees will find a home,” Columbu added.

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