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Beekeepers of NE Bulgaria Complain of Use of Illegal Pesticides in Bulgaria, Say Sector Is in Collapse

Beekeepers in northeastern Bulgaria held a news conference in the Black Sea city of Varna Tuesday to complain of difficult access to funding and use of illegal pesticides in Bulgaria, which has caused the rate of bee colony collapse in the region to soar. They have written to the President and the Agriculture Ministry, and plan to alert the European Commission and the European Prosecution Office.
They also suggest that purchase prices of honey are artificially kept down to be the lowest in Europe.
They demand “adequate measures on government level” in their sector to put them on an equal footing with their European peers. “Money is available in the sector but it does not reach grassroot producers,” said the leader of the Bulgarian Free Beekeepers association, Yassen Yanev.
He said that if their letters to the President and the Ministry remain unanswered in the next 30 days, they would stage protests.
The association has sent sample for tests in foreign labs and those were found to contain over 20 pesticides, half of which are banned from use.
Bee keeper Peter Petrov of the town of Tervel said that colony collapse is very high in the beehives in northeastern Bulgaria and this has forced beekeepers to abandon bees. “The sector is in collapse,” he said. 
Ivan Zhelyazkov of Dobrich has the same experience.
They said that the competent authorities don’t have an answer as to what is causing the colony collapse.