FACT CHECK: Are Farmers In Denmark Required To Grow Field Flowers For Bees?

Charlese Freeman | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook claims farmers in parts of Denmark are required to grow field flowers for bees.

Verdict: False

While farmers in Denmark are not required to plant flowers for bees, they can voluntarily dedicate a portion of their land to growing crops meant to boost biodiversity in exchange for a grant.

Fact Check:

There are 292 known bee species in Denmark, 56 of which were found to be “threatened,” according to an article published in the Public Library of Science. Now, a July 25 image on Facebook shows what appears to be a field of wildflowers. The text accompanying the image reads: “In Denmark, farmers are required by law to grow field flowers for the bees in 5% of the country.”

There is, however, no evidence of such a law. Check Your Fact reviewed Denmark’s environmental law and found no mention of farmers having to plant flowers for bees. A search of the Danish Agricultural Agency’s website likewise showed no evidence of the law. (RELATED: Does This Image Show The World’s Smallest Bird Species?)

While there isn’t a law requiring farmers to dedicate any portion of their land to grow field flowers for bees, the European Commission has an initiative called the “green direct payment,” which rewards “farmers who adopt or maintain farming practices that help meet environmental and climate goals,” according to the European Commission’s website.

Farmers can receive payment through this program if they plant a variety of crops, have permanent grassland and “dedicate 5% of arable land to areas beneficial for biodiversity,” the program’s guidelines state. Since Denmark is part of the EU, Danish farmers are eligible for the grant.

“The Danish government follows the legislation from the European Union and here are some requirements for farmers regarding biodiversity,” a spokesperson from the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries told Check Your Fact in an email. “Denmark has no national legislation requiring people in Denmark to grow field flowers for the bees in 5% of the country.”

Denmark in 2016 signed the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, pledging to increase the protection of biodiversity, as well as bees, butterflies and other insects, the Copenhagen Post reported.

Charlese Freeman

Contributor

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