is a man who is used to painting grim scenarios.
He sits on the board of directors of the German Beekeepers Association (DBIB) and is vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association.
And because griping is part of a lobbyist's trade, it is practically his
professional duty to warn that "the very existence of beekeeping is at stake."
The problem, says Haefeker
, has a number of causes, one being the varroa mite, introduced from Asia, and another is the widespread practice in agriculture of spraying wildflowers with herbicides and practicing monoculture.
Another possible cause, according to Haefeker
, is the controversial and growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.
As far back as 2005, Haefeker
ended an article he
contributed to the journal Der Kritischer Agrarbericht (Critical Agricultural Report) with an Albert Einstein quote: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.
No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
, the German beekeeping official, speculates that "besides a number of other factors," the fact that genetically modified, insect-resistant plants are now used in 40 percent of cornfields in the United States could be playing a role.
The figure is much lower in Germany -- only 0.06 percent -- and most of that occurs in the eastern states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg.
Haefeker recently sent a researcher at the CCD Working Group some data from a bee study that he has long felt shows a possible connection between genetic engineering and diseases in bees.