Concerning the looming ecological crisis, I believe it has anthropological dimensions beyond its potential impact on European agriculture. For this reason, I am particularly concerned about Europe’s bee population.

As some of you know, the Romans had two symbols. The eagle and the bees. We could ask ourselves what the bees meant to the Romans. That depends upon which historian you ask. What I can say for certain is what the European bees mean to me.

From my vantage point, they symbolise organisation, perseverance, and discipline. In fact, the bees are more than a symbol because we know that our civilisation would die without them. It is an intuition most people have about the past, present and future of European agriculture.

The symbols of a civilisation don’t change but they may be forgotten. At our peril, and theirs. For we ultimately share the same fate.