EU aims to better protect bees from pesticides

By the Associated Press | April 29, 2013 | 10:34 AM EDT

Beekeepers protest next to a giant inflatable bee in front of the European Council and Commission in Brussels, Monday, April 29, 2013. EU Member States meet on Monday, to decide on a proposal by the European Commission to impose a 2-year moratorium on neonicotinoid pesticides, which many scientists agree are the driving force behind Europe's dramatic bee decline. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it will move ahead with measures to better protect dwindling bee populations after the 27 nations in the bloc failed to agree on a common stand.

EU Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg said Monday that his agency will propose restricting the use of three pesticides as of Dec. 1 for two years unless decisive new information becomes available.

Environmentalists welcomed Borg's promise to act despite the mixed messages from EU nations. Borg said that bees, which pollinate crops and produce honey, contribute over 22 billion euros ($29 billion) a year to European agriculture.

Major chemical producers were against Borg's proposals.