No, Danish law does not oblige farmers to plant flowers for the benefit of bees

A bee at work (photo illustration) –

  • According to a very viral post on Facebook, in Denmark, “a law obliges owners of large agricultural lands to cultivate 5% of their land in flower to protect bees”.
  • “It is an option, but not a requirement”, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food told 20 minutes.
  • European farmers can in fact receive a subsidy known as a “green direct payment” when they “adopt or maintain farming practices that help achieve the EU’s environmental and climate objectives”.

This is not the most unpleasant of clichés. The Scandinavian countries have the reputation of being more virtuous than our France. Cleaner, less dangerous, with better education and, above all, greener. According to a post shared more than 220,000 times in the last week on Facebook, it is also Denmark’s agriculture and its legislation that we should be inspired by.

According to this viral Facebook post, a Danish law would force farmers to cultivate 5% of their land in bloom for biodiversity – Screenshot – TH

“In Denmark, a law obliges owners of large agricultural lands to cultivate 5% of their land in flower to protect bees,” says the author of this viral publication. Accompanied by a photo of a flower bed at the edge of the field, this post has been reproduced and republished identically by several other accounts on Facebook and Twitter. In comments, users each time greet a “great ecological initiative” and a “great idea”.

Yet there is no Danish legislation forcing farmers in the kingdom to such practices.


For Danish farmers, growing flowers on 5% of their land is “an option and not a legal requirement,” says the Food and Environment Ministry. 20 minutes. Indeed, growers in the European Union – and not just in Denmark – can receive a ‘green direct payment’, also known as’ greening ‘, when they’ adopt or maintain farming practices that help achieve environmental objectives and climate ”, in accordance with a policy of the European Commission.

In order to receive this grant, farmers must adhere to three mandatory ecological practices: diversify their crops to strengthen soils, maintain permanent grasslands to support carbon sequestration and protect biodiversity, and, finally, dedicate 5% of their land. cultivable in areas beneficial for biodiversity if their land is more than 15 hectares. It can be fallow land as well as hedges, trees, or flower beds, as mentioned in the viral post.

In Denmark, the area of ​​fallow land on which flower mixtures have been developed remains “relatively small” within the total number of areas declared to be of ecological interest, says the press service of the Danish Ministry of the Environment. and Food. To remedy this, however, the kingdom’s agricultural agency is trying to “inform and inspire Danish farmers about the possibility of more pollinator-friendly options. “

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