29 April 2009

Accuracy not a strong point in BBC bee report

The announcement of a new beekeeping course also contains the usual hand-wringing about bee decline. The report includes the following:

"A decline in the number of flowers as food sources has led to a poorer environment for honeybees and is likely to have been a major factor in the 75% decrease in the number of hives over the past 100 years."

"The number of bees has decreased by 75% over the past 100 years."

Well, which is it? Were all bees in hives in past 100 years? Or perhaps the 75% of hives that went were the only full hives, and the remaining 25% devoid of bees?

None of the statements are sourced. For example, has the number of flowers (how do you count 'em?) declined? What about the vast fields of oilseed rape?

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