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Created on 16 April 2014.

" The mining activity in Halkidiki marks the end of beekeeping in the region of Macedonia" Andreas Thrasivoulou and the Apiculture Laboratoty of Aristotle Uni of Sallonica , from the magazine " Bee Step ", issue August - September 2012 .

 

Note that a county , Halkidiki , has 30 % of all bee colonies in Greece and 50 % of Greeks professional beekeepers . So far , only the Beekeepers Cooperative Nikitis has decided against mining investment in Chalkidiki.

In the Regional Section of Chalkidiki there are about 814 beekeepers who own 152,385 hives , which is the 9.7 % of the whole country . Of these, 389 ( 48 % ) are professionals and live solely on the income of the bee farm . The rest are amateur beekeepers who enhance their income by bringing beekeeping with a large number of cells in Chalkidiki there are 84 hives per square kilometer while the average hive density in Greece , which ranks first in Europe , is only 11 hives per square kilometer.
The number of hives increased significantly in fall when colonies from the rest of Greece are transferred at ease , for the exploitation of honey from insect Marchalina hellenica, which parasite in Aleppo and Calabrian pine . It is estimated that 65 % of the annual honey production in Greece is produced from pine and Halkidiki with Thassos are the major beekeeping areas of our country for the production of pine honey .
The consequences of the expansion of mining activity in NE Halkidiki is devastating for beekeeping not only in the region and the county, but the entire country for the following reasons:
a) The huge quantities aggravated by heavy metal dust which rises to 3,116 tonnes per hour of operation of the mines , which will be produced during mining and deposition , removable with the wind will settle on the ground, in water, plants and honey dew of pine and oak creating a very negative , yet toxic environment for nutrition and survival of bees. This dust can be transported across vast distances and zones creating prohibitive for bees . Classic beekeeping areas such as Kassandra , Sithonia , Athos and Thassos even ate in danger of being permanently lost . A good example of dust transport over long distances and with negative effects on beekeeping is the dust transported from Africa to Cyprus.
b ) The bees have been used as indicators of environmental pollution with heavy metals because it is able to collect, carry and store in habitat contaminated with heavy metals nectar , pollen and water . The native vegetation and plants grown in soils contaminated with heavy metals accumulate these metals in tissues , nectar and pollen . Bees collect and transfer the strained nectar and pollen in the hive, all their products are contaminated, which results in the population decline and finally loss of the entire hive .
c ) The honey dew of pine and oak , and chestnut pollen is exposed to pollution from suspended dust .On the other hand, nectar in flowering plants is protected by the petals of the flower but it is contaminated through the pland juices . In this way the quality of pine honey and forest honey is downgraded and Greek beekeepers will lose an excellent beekeeping product . At the same time , because pine does not crystallizes is used as a base in blends Greek honeys to limit the speed of crystallization in the final product . There fore the quality degradation of pine honey will result in a corresponding degradation of the entire Greek honey.
d )The destruction of forest vegetation in an area of 2,500 acres and deposition of soil the colony will destroy the existing vegetation on the area of deposition , and will not adversely affect the growth and survival of bees which, as known , depend solely on the available flora . Apart from w the pine forest, Cholomontas mountain is covered by dense vegetation of oaks and other broadleaf trees , which are also used by the bees . The beekeeping flora of the area is completed by chestnut trees, wild hazel trees , spring heather , arbutus , Judas , Izmir and many other plants which not only provide and maintain a large number of bees but it is also a foraging refuge for the cells in Chalkidiki and other areas .This rich beekeeping vegetation will never be recoverd from destruction due to the permanent plan of the mining projects.
e) The various diseases affecting bees are endemic and occur when they are highly stressed by lack of food and water or air pollution , food and the environment generally . All these factors are consistent with the mining activity and will result in the outbreak of diseases in bees . This will create very big problems in the practice of beekeeping because from 2006 onwards no usage of therapeutic formulations for all diseases of bees , except the parasitic miteVaroa have been used. The weakening of the immune system of bees combined with endemic diseases such as American foulbrood and nosema certainly will make it difficult operating conditions bees.
f ) The impact of mining activity on cultivated plants and native vegetation will also have significant adverse impacts on insect pollinators . Pollution and land degradation alongside with restriction of natural vegetation will adversely affect other species of insects - pollinators , such as various species of wild bees ( family Apidae, Anthophoridae, Megachilidae, Halictidae, Colletidae and others) which use land as habitat . Thus , while the unfavorable growing conditions , as described above , should be added and the dramatic reduction in the number of bees and other insect pollinators , which would further limit the native vegetation , seed production , vegetable , fruit and generally the plants whose existence depends on pollination.
All the above will cause extensive damage to the beekeeping industry to a degree that practice of beekeeping not only in Halkidiki but also in several other parts of the country would be impossible.