Chile: 10,000 bees joined the protest, 7 police officers were bitten

Honey production has been affected by a prolonged drought in Chile, which has dried up the bees’ food sources such as flowers and crops. While drought is not uncommon in Chile, the current megadrought has continued since 2010 and climate change is at least partly to blame, scientists say.

Beekeepers want reforms in the government to improve honey prices or provide subsidies to honey producers. He has asked to meet with President Sebastian Pinera.

Beekeepers set up about 60 beehives on the entrance to the palace, which contained an estimated 10,000 bees.

One of the beekeepers, Jose Itura, told local reporters that the drought in the Colina commune, north of Santiago, was killing the local bee population.

“The bees are dying,” said Itura. “If the bees die there will be no life. That’s what we wanted to highlight with this demonstration.”

Riot police remove honeycombs during protests in Santiago.

A representative of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Santiago region said the agency is also concerned about the impact of the drought on bees. The regional agriculture secretary, Omar Guzmán, told reporters that the government had been providing assistance for months to 20 communities facing severe water shortages.

Some passersby were concerned about the risk posed by bees to the public.

“It is dangerous for people who are allergic (to bees) as they can cause death,” said a local.

Seven National Police officers, called carabiniers, were trying to arrest the beekeepers and drive the bees out of the street, police officials said, and were taken to a hospital.

Drought and rising temperatures from climate change have affected bee populations around the world. A 2020 study published in the journal Science found that populations in North America declined by about 50% and in Europe by 17% in one generation.

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