Beekeepers protest against the hospitalization of seven police officers in front of Chile’s presidential palace
Four beekeepers were detained in Chile after protesting in front of the Presidential Palace in Santiago. Seven police officers were stabbed during the demonstration and they asked to talk to the president.
According to local officials, four people were arrested on Monday for participating in a protest and seven police officers were stabbed. In the context of declining honey production, beekeepers are protesting against the lack of government support; they claim that the industry has been severely hit by drought, which has affected the food sources of bees, such as flowers and crops.
Beekeepers have asked to meet with President Sebastian Pinera to discuss their proposals, including reforms to increase honey prices or provide subsidies to honey producers.
“The bee is dying,” Demonstrator Jose Itura told local media. “If the bee dies, there is no life. This is what we want to emphasize through this demonstration.”
About 60 beehives were placed on the avenue in front of the palace, and there were an estimated 10,000 bees. The seven police officers who were stabbed, called Carabiniers, were taken to the hospital.
Passers-by pointed out that the situation may be more dangerous. Some people say that people who are allergic to bee stings may become victims of demonstrations.
Regional Agriculture Minister Omar Guzman said that the ministry appreciates the plight of beekeepers, but noted that they have provided assistance to 20 communities facing severe water shortages for several months.
Climate change is also affecting bee populations and honey production around the world. A study published in the journal Science in 2020 found that the number of bees in North America has fallen by about 50% in just one generation, while in Europe it has fallen by 17%.
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