Bees could starve to death if a proposed incinerator build goes ahead, as fumes emitted would leave them unable to smell properly.
Fumes emitted by the incinerator, planned to built in Rivenhall, would leave them unable to smell the flowers they seek to pollinate, putting the threatened species under further pressure
Michael and Deborah Coe, 2017’s East of England Cooperative Societies producer of the year with Coggeshall-based Great-Tilkey Honey, explained the threat that the incinerator poses to the bees.
Mr Coe said: “Nitrogen Oxide emitted by the incinerator will reduce the ability of our bees to respond to the floral scents that flowers produce to attract insects to them.”
“In the natural environment this has a twofold impact. Firstly, the insects cannot find the flowers to feed, they are therefore more likely to starve to death. The impact on flora is that plants who depend upon pollination cannot reproduce.”
“This then impacts upon wild food sources for mammals and birds, and of course the pollination of crops for human food.”
While we don’t need bees to pollinate every single crop, some of the foods we would lose if all our bees continue to perish include apples, field beans and tomatoes, and of course – honey.
Borage could also be lost, a herb that is often used as a herbal remedy to irritable bowel syndrome, pneumonia and cystitis.
Mr Coe said: “Our bees forage for food under the incinerator, one apiary is only a mile from the proposed facility – what if the particles emitted got into the honey?”
“(If it was built) I would be absolutely devastated. This apiary was my first, where it all started for me, and to have to pack it up would be a very sad day.”
Another factor to consider within the process is the abstraction that would take place from the river Blackwater to suit the incinerator’s needs. The Blackwater, a protected river, is at capacity for abstraction licences already.
Now, with Otters, King fishers and Pole Cats returning to the river how will the sudden changes in the river impact them? Changes in water level and temperature impact upon fish stocks and smaller mammals, which therefore could impact upon those higher up the food chain.
Mrs Coe said: “This river runs through not only our land, but Coggeshall, Kelvedon and so many local villages, it’s going to change the whole ecosystem.”
Earlier in February, Priti Patel raised the issue in the House of Commons.
She said: “It has been described as an integrated waste management facility, but the recycling capacity has been reduced and the waste incineration capacity increased by 65% from 360,000 to 595,000 tonnes.”
“Given the concerns with the incinerator, the impact on the environment and the new proposals on waste put forward by the Government, the incinerator is not only unwelcome but out of date.”
The next event people can get involved with is on March 3 at the Kelvedon Co-op where a petition can be signed, before a protest walk to the site on March 10 TBC.