Snippets from the Daily Telegraph 16.3.2013

“Too good for toast, I’d say”.

Maybe I’ve missed something - like a wormhole into a parallel universe - but when did honey start being flogged in factors?
I get the whole SPF sunscreen thing, although regrettably only two decades after a mis-spent baby-oiled youth.
But figuring out whether a dollop of manuka active 15-plus will protect my slice of breakfast granary significantly more than a Rowse 10-plus is beyond me.
The factors apparently represent levels of anti-bacterial activity that are health-giving and healing. Wasted on toast then; I’ll keep it for my summer hols.
Mind you, when you think about it, honey doesn’t actually need a factor to protect from UV light or anything else; once you’ve smeared it all over, the ensuing thick patina of sand will do the trick nicely.

“British bees at risk as killer pesticides torpedo ban plan”

Bees don’t submit invoices, which is just as well as they are worth a good £1.8 billion a year (the cost of pollinating crops by hand if they disappeared) to British agriculture. So we should take better care of them than the European government representatives did when they met yesterday (15.3.2013).

They failed to agree to a proposed two-year ban on three pesticides identified by the normally conservative European Food Safety Authority as posing “high acute risks” to the insects, whose numbers have been plummeting. A vote on the EU Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal health supported the ban, but not, under Brussels’s rules, by a big enough majority to bring it in.
The Environmental Justice Foundation, which launches a campaign to save Britain’s bees next week, said it was “dismayed” that “overwhelming scientific evidence” of the threat had not carried the day, while Friends of the earth accused the Government, which abstained, of dragging its feet over Ash dieback.

Many retailers are voluntarily withdrawing the pesticides from their shelves, but more is needed. Don’t tell George Osborne, as he prepares the Budget, but it’s high time for plan Bee.

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