Campaigners demand action on bees
New research links pesticide increase and lack of political will to declining bee populations.
Friends of the Earth are calling on the government to produce a national bee action plan. Campaigners say without it the UK bee population is in danger of becoming all but extinct.
Bees are critical to Britain's food supply but numbers have fallen dramatically over the past decade with two British species becoming extinct and managed honey bees falling by 53% between 1985 and 2005.
In a new report, 'The decline of England's Bees', released this week they argue that a number of factors, including an increased use of pesticides and a loss of habitat, is causing the decline and have called on government to help end it.
Between 2005 and 2010 pesticide use rose by 6.5% increasing the risk already beleaguered populations, while loss of lowland meadows and the removal of hedgerows have removed food sources and nesting sites.
The report, produced by bee experts from the University of Reading, concludes that "perhaps the greatest shortcoming of all is the failure of government to recognise the importance and conservation needs of bees across the country."
Paul de Zylva, Nature campaigner at FOE said, “As well as an overdue investigation into the impacts of pesticides on bees the government must make urgent changes to the way we plan our towns and cities and farm our countryside so we can reverse their decline. David Cameron must commit to a national bee action plan.”
For more information and to sign up to the campaign visit The Bee Cause.