I have just spent a few days in Normandy with the Royal British Legion, visiting battlefields and cemeteries. Normandy is cider country! There were orchards in bloom everywhere and apple trees in every garden. The fields are small with plenty of floriferous hedges and not too much weedkiller has been used as the meadows and pastures were full of flowers too, which accounts for their cheese tasting so good!
What a place to keep bees! Other insects abound. After we left Normandy on our way home the coach driver had to get out his bucket and mop to clean the windscreen, which was almost opaque with splattered insects. Then the coutryside and farming practice changed with larger fields, more arable, and fewer flowers. When we got through the Channel Tunnel, the driver repeated the mopping, but the screen wasn’t nearly as splattered. The next 100 miles of so through England left the windscreen almost clear and so the driver had no need to repeat the cleaning.
It’s not just bees that are affected by modern agriculture.