Siena is a bee-friendly municipality

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From 3 November 2021, Siena will join the ‘Comuni Amici delle Api’, a bee-friendly initiative which was created as part of the CooBEEration Campaign. It’s part of a European Union-funded project aimed at strengthening the commitment of national and international governments and institutions to safeguard bees and beekeeping as well as building a global alliance involving all members to cooperate to protect bees, which are recognized as a global common good.

In the city council meeting that approved the membership, the Mayor Luigi De Mossi explained that with this act the Administration has committed itself to the following: supporting the development of beekeeping activities throughout the territory, as an opportunity for income and social inclusion; including and increasing the cultivation of bee-friendly plant species in public green areas; paying greater attention to products used to treat city trees; progressively reduce to the point of elimination the use of herbicides to maintain roadside vegetation and public green spaces; promoting reflection and debate, both within the city council and the community, on theuse of agro drugs in agriculture and their impact on the environment and healthas well as possible strategies to enhance and safeguard the territory by adopting good and sustainable agricultural practices; enforcing regulations on beekeeping and the use of herbicides and geo-disinfectants in non-agricultural sectors, as well as procedures for their use in agriculture; undertaking mosquito control action that prioritizes prevention and larvicidal interventions with organic products; promoting and supporting beekeeping initiatives, also in collaboration with other municipalities, to raise awareness of the issue, and promote the value of bees as a common good.

This decision of the City of Siena was welcomed by Coldiretti because it goes in the direction of protecting perhaps the world’s most valuable insects. Again according to Coldiretti, public awareness is crucial, even in the face of the enormous efforts made by beekeepers grappling with climate change, frost in spring, mites and the lack of rain in summer. A true ‘mission’ that Siena has chosen to recognize, value and protect.

The commitment was made official on 3 January 2022 when Siena officially joined the bee-friendly municipality network. This membership journey was shared with the three major farmers’ associations in the area of Siena and with whom a webinar was organized on the 25 February. The initiative was joined by the three major beekeeping associations in Tuscany, which helped with organising and promoting the event.

The webinar was born from the desire to educate on the importance to humans of pollinating insects, particularly bees, and therefore the aim is to inform and raise awareness among a broad audience.

The Department of Life Sciences of the University of Siena also welcomed this initiative by accepting the invitation to co-organise the event and bring its own contribution. The event is strongly supported by the Municipal Administration of Siena and it also represents an example of anetworkamong various members interested in the problem. Thanks to the structure and interest in the bee problem, life and biodiversity, a very active group has formed, which has captured the interest of the academic world who joined the associations of farmers and beekeepers The webinar marks the beginning of an eagerly awaited series of projects, including one on urban beekeeping that will involve stakeholders from the Siena area.

The initiative has received sponsorship from the Region of Tuscany, ANCI Tuscany and the Arezzo-Siena Chamber of Commerce.

 

USEFUL LINKS

Bees and man

Bee-friendly municipalities

Bees and Man – Webinar by Dr. Stefano Biagiotti

Bees and Man – Webinar and panel discussion on 25 February 2022

Information and awareness initiative on the importance of Bees for Humans

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