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South Chungcheong Province sets up bee food forest to combat bee loss

Dec. 27, 2022 - 18:26 By Song Jung-hyun
Black locust, one of the honey trees found in Korea (National Institute of Forest Science)

The South Chungcheong Province Office announced Tuesday that it has built a large "bee food forest" as part of efforts to prevent the ongoing mass death and disappearance of bees.

The size of the bee food forest constructed by the province is equivalent to 4,733 soccer fields -- 31 percent larger than the original target of 25.79 million square meters.

More than 8 million honey trees have been planted in the forest. Honey trees refer to those that provide food and habitat for honeybees.

"The current initiative by South Chungcheong Province is meaningful as it preemptively promotes one of the solutions to the mass disappearance of bees constantly occurring around the world amid climate change," an official from the province explained Tuesday.

Earlier this spring, the Korea Beekeeping Association launched an investigation into the massive disappearance of honeybees across the nation. According to the results, damage had occurred in 17.6 percent of all beekeeping farms (23,582) registered with the association. As about 20,000 honey bees live in each hive, this translates into a loss of at least 7.8 billion honey bees.

The provincial office added that it plans to create an additional 29.05 million square meters of bee food forestry by 2027.