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Co-op's "Plan Bee"

Jan 22

Written by:
22/01/2009 14:19  RssIcon

The Co-operative Group is launching ‘Plan Bee’, a campaign to raise awareness on the world wide plight of the bee.


The Co-operative Group is launching ‘Plan Bee’, a campaign to raise awareness on the world wide plight of the bee. Bees are dying in worringly large numbers, and no one knows for certain why. Last year, in the UK alone, one in three hives was lost. It's a global problem that concerns us all; bees pollinate over a third of the food we eat. The campaign addresses the question of why bees are dying in such large numbers and what we can all do about it.

A number of of events are taking place to launch the campaign throughout the North West and North Midlands 9th-12th February, including screenings of "The Life of Bees", a stunning new film never before shown in the UK.

Register your interest at to keep updated with news of the campaign.




3 comment(s) so far...

Re: Co-op's "Plan Bee"

At last the plight of the Honey Bee is getting attention. Thank God that one of our well know supermarkets the Cop-OP has taken its time and money to get this together. Despite all the money that the other well know supermarkets get they havent themselve thought about it. I take my hat off to The Co-op and give them my full support.

By Eileen Bundy on   28/01/2009 20:55

Re: Co-op's "Plan Bee"

I am delighted that the Co-Op has recognised the importance of bees and are making an effort to do something positive - a heartening story. I am a mite concerned, however, that they may have grabbed only a part of the story.

The Honeybee is just one species (albeit a very important one) out of over 19,300 species of bee worldwide. It is certainly not the only one in trouble, and is equally certainly not the only one which plays a critical role in pollination. Bumblebees for instance (c. 25 spp in UK and some 250 species worldwide) pollinate many plants that honeybees can not (eg Tomatoes), and the vast army of unsung heroes among the solitary bees (about 240 species in UK), are really important pollinators of vital crops such as spring-flowering fruit trees. Virtually no money is ever spent on studying these, although the declines have been documented clearly in heavyweight scientific publications (eg SCIENCE, July 21 2006).

We also have to be careful to get the story absolutely right if we are to get funding where it is needed so urgently. For instance, the statement above "Last year, in the UK alone, one in three hives was lost" is not absolutely true. These figures represent losses measured only over the winter, which is always the time of maximum mortality. No account has been made of subsequent recruitment to the numbers in the following spring. Year-on-year figures are very important to assess the extent of declines. The true story is worrying enough to warrant proper funding - I just hope that embellishments (that are easy to spot) will not put the funders off!

By Stuart Roberts on   30/01/2009 11:25

Re: Co-op's "Plan Bee"

The 'mysterious' decline of the honeybee in UK, Europe and USA is a fact. It may be that we need more research to determine what some certainty as to what the cause of this decline is. But in the meantime we can do what the Co-operative membership is doing and that is desist in the use of neonicotinoid-based chemicals in our gardens, support only food products grown without the use of these pesticides. By the time DEFRA gets round to acting on research or acknowledging the results of research already carried out in Europe we will have no bees left. One thing that we should have learnt from the present finacial crisis is that never trust the Government to do anything until it is too late. Let us use our power as consumers and act now!

By S Kulkarni on   20/02/2009 18:05


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