An increase in demand for pollination in Europe is not matched with an increase in the number of honeybees, scientists warn. According to a new study, published on 8 January in the journal PLOS ONE, more than half of the European countries suffer from a shortage of honeybees to pollinate their crops. The scientists put the blame on the EU's agricultural and biofuel policies, which "encourage" the increase of areas of insect-pollinated biodiesel feedstocks, such as soybean, oil palm and oilseed rape.

The study, financed from the Seventh Framework Programme, argues that recent reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have resulted in "significantly increased farmgate prices for many subsidised crops, notably oilseed rape, where prices have risen by an average of 65% between 2005 and 2010". "Demand for oilseed crops has been further increased following the introduction of the renewable fuels directive in 2003, which required liquid biofuels to form 5.75% of transport fuel...

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