12/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

EU To Vote On Honey Bee "Recovery Zones" With Bee-Friendly Flowers

STRASBOURG, France - Honey bees, whose numbers are falling, must be given flowery "recovery zones" in Europe's farmlands to aid their survival, a leading EU lawmaker said Wednesday.

Bees pollinate numerous crops and scientists have expressed alarm over their mysterious and rapid decline. Experts have warned that a drop in the bee population could harm agriculture.

"If we continue to neglect the global bee population, then this will have a dramatic effect on our already strained world food supplies," said Neil Parish, who chairs the European Parliament's agriculture committee.

Parish, a British conservative, said vast swathes of single crops such as wheat often made it difficult for bees to find enough nectar. But he said farmers could help bees by planting patches of bee-friendly flowers -- including daisies, borage and lavender.

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