Icelandic beekeepers are concerned that pesticide and/or chemical usage is compromising the welfare of bees in the country, RÚV reports. The Icelandic Beekeeper’s Association has sent an inquiry about the matter to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST).
Pesticide usage does not fall under MAST’s jurisdiction, although protecting the welfare of bees in Iceland does. In an announcement on the agency’s website, MAST encourages those who are authorized to use pesticides on plants to always take care in how the substances are being used so as to avoid any potential damage as a consequence. For one, people using pesticides are asked to assess the likeliness that any pesticides that are being used will come into contact with anything other than the intended target. They are also encouraged to let people in the area know in advance of any crop spraying.
Honey that is produced for human consumption can be contaminated if bees that have landed in crops or plants that have been treated with chemicals or pesticides then carry those substances with them back into their hives. This could potentially lead to humans consuming trace amounts of chemical substances in their honey. Today, there are well over one hundred beekeeping operations all over Iceland.