EU court restricts honey with traces of genetically modified pollen

By Gabriele Steinhauser (AP) Honey that contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorization before it can be sold in Europe, the European Union’s top court said Tuesday, in a judgment that could have widespread consequences on the bloc’s policy on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The ruling from the European Court of Justice came after several Bavarian beekeepers demanded compensation from their government for honey and food supplements that contained traces of pollen from genetically modified maize.

The beekeepers had their hives close to fields where the Bavarian government was growing Monsanto’s MON 810 maize for research purposes.

via The Associated Press: EU court puts limits on modified honey.

‘Bee Roads’: UK creating network of wildflowers to boost declining bees

By Meera Selva (HuffingtonPost) Farmers and landowners are being asked to plant rows of wildflowers along the edges of England’s fields to create a network of “bee roads” to boost declining numbers.

Conservationists said Tuesday they hope the wildflowers will provide food and shelter for wild bees, honeybees and butterflies, which play a crucial role in pollinating crops.

As part of the initiative, wildlife charity Buglife and The Co-operative grocery store chain are donating seeds, such as knapweed and red clover, to farmers and landowners in the Northern English county of Yorkshire, and asking them to plant them in rows along the edge of their fields.

Britain has 250 species of bees, but – as in other countries – most are in decline. Scientists say pesticides, disappearing habitat, wet weather and a parasite called the varroa mite are among the culprits.

via ‘Bee Roads’: UK Creating Network Of Wildflowers To Boost Declining Bee Population.

Sea bottom fish now nearly wiped out off U.K.

By Brian Handwerk

National Geographic News) Bottom-fishing fleets in United Kingdom waters today have to work 17 times harder to catch the same amount of fish as their sail-powered Victorian counterparts did, according to a new study.

After analyzing historic catch records from England and Wales, the researchers conclude that the amount of fish caught per unit of fishing power has fallen by 94 percent since 1889.

That doesn't necessarily mean the number of fish along the seafloor, such as cod and haddock, dropped by 94 percent. But it's probably “a very good approximation,” lead study author Ruth Thurstan, a graduate student at the University of York in England, said via email.

Read the rest: Seafloor Fish Nearly Wiped Out off U.K..

New York City May Make Bee Hives Legal

By Mireya Navarro

(NY Times) New York City is among the few jurisdictions in the country that deem beekeeping illegal, lumping the honeybee together with hyenas, tarantulas, cobras, dingoes and other animals considered too dangerous or venomous for city life. But the honeybee’s bad rap — and the days of urban beekeepers being outlaws — may soon be over.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s board will take up the issue of amending the health code to allow residents to keep hives of Apis mellifera, the common, nonaggressive honeybee. Health department officials said the change was being considered after research showed that the reports of bee stings in the city were minimal and that honeybees did not pose a public health threat.

Read the rest Bees in the City? New York May Make Hives Legal – NYTimes.com.