Michael Fabricant joined a giant bumble bee and campaigners from the environment charity Friends of the Earth on Tuesday (15 January) to draw attention to the alarming decline in UK bee numbers. Last year Friends of the Earth launched its Bee Cause campaign, which has been backed by more than 80,000 people and calls for the Government to urgently to introduce a National Bee Action Plan aimed at saving our bees.
Michael says: “Bee numbers in Britain have fallen dramatically in recent years. Bees and other insects help pollinate over 75% of our plants, which in turn are vital to other insects, birds and animals and to our food supply. But two bumblebee species are already extinct. And scientific evidence confirms that declining bee numbers will impact significantly on the UK’s farming sector, food prices and security, and the quality of the British countryside. I do not want to see Staffordshire Honey being a thing of the past.”
Bees are not only makers of honey, they are also crucial for pollinating crops and plants. A sharp fall in their number in recent years has led to growing concerns about the impact this may have on our local environment, farmers and the economy.
A study last year found that if bees disappeared it would cost British farmers at least £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops by hand – which would cause food prices, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, to rocket.
Michael adds: “British Bees are not only an iconic part of our countryside – they play a vital role in pollinating our crops and flowers too. It’s great news that Friends of the Earth is ‘creating a buzz’ about these crucially important insects.”
Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins says: “I’m delighted Michael Fabricant MP is showing support for Britain’s threatened bees – they are under severe threat and need all the support they can get.
“People up and down the country can help by creating bee-friendly gardens and habitats to enable bees to thrive, but it is vital that the Government does its bit too by introducing a National Bee Action Plan.”
Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign is asking David Cameron to adopt a National Bee Action Plan:
· to ensure our towns and countryside provide bees with enough flowers to feed on and places to nest;
· to help farmers, gardeners and park keepers to reduce chemicals that harm bees;
· and to protect Britain’s 250+ bee species, not only the ones who make our honey.
Photo shows Michael backing the British Bee at Westminster.
Check out www.foe.co.uk/beesreport