Netherlands biggest insect importer in EU

. Neonicotinoids don't just kill bees, but also lead to dwinding bird numbers researchers say.

Of all the countries in the European Union, the Netherlands spends the most money on importing insects, Statistics Netherlands revealed on Thursday. In the first half of this year, the Netherlands spent 8.2 million euros on importing live insects, five times more than in 2012.

The Netherlands, France and Belgium together account for almost 60 percent of insects imports to the EU. The Netherlands uses insects like bees and wasps to pollinate flowers and protect crops. Insects like mealworms and grasshoppers are processed into food for humans and animals. According to the stats office, the Netherlands has a global reputation as an innovator when it comes to insects. 

Compared to 2012, the Netherlands is importing less bees, according to Statistics Netherlands. In 2012 a massive 60 percent of insects imported to the country were bees. In the first half of this year, it was 30 percent. 

A third of the insects that are imported to the Netherlands, are exported again to other countries. The country exported a total value of 5.6 million euros in insects in the first half of 2017, putting the Netherlands in third place in the EU. Belgium and Slovakia came in first and second. 

Tags: