Forest fires in Sardinia kill 30 million bees

Sardinian beekeepers are sounding the alarm after forest fires destroyed 500 hives and killed 30 million bees.

The bees bred in the area, in addition to wild bees, are fundamental to the biodiversity and agriculture of the island and all of Europe.

“We know that bees provide 76% of the pollination of food crops in Europe. So we can imagine what would happen if we were to lose these very important insects,” said Annalisa Columbu, president of the Italian environmental association Legambiente Sardegna.

A fundraising campaign called “Save the Queen” has been launched to help beekeepers. They hope the campaign will help repopulate the area by raising bees.

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

Now the regional government is being called for an accounting of the damage to compensate farmers and beekeepers.

About 20,000 hectares of land were engulfed in flames, including olive groves, vineyards and farms.

The Cagliari Agronomists Association estimates the damage could be as much as 1 billion euros.

Agronomists and environmentalists believe that it will take at least 15 years to rebuild the forested areas destroyed by the fire.

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