Urgent review launched into bee population decline

 

A A A

The Government is launching an “urgent and comprehensive” review of why bees are declining and what is being done to help them.

Many species of bee and other pollinating insects including butterflies, moths and hoverflies have experienced declines in recent decades, raising concerns about the impacts on food supplies, gardens and the countryside.

Factors including use of pesticides, loss of habitat and more intensive agriculture are thought to be to blame.

The review will look at current policies, the evidence on what is happening to pollinators and what action charities and businesses are taking to help the insects, Environment Minister Lord de Mauley will announce in a speech.

The work will identify what needs to be done to help bees and other insects, and will form the basis of a "national pollinator strategy" which will bring together all the initiatives already under way and help develop new action.

Lord de Mauley will tell a Bee Summit organised by Friends of the Earth: "We must develop a better understanding of the factors that can harm these insects and the changes that government, other organisations and individuals can make to help."

The Government has come under fire for opposing European moves to ban "neonicotinoid" pesticides which have been linked to bee declines, but Lord de Mauley said bees would be vulnerable with or without restrictions on insecticides.

"I do not deny for a moment that it is important to regulate pesticides effectively and to avoid unnecessary pesticide use."

But he will tell the conference: "Changes in land use, the type of crops grown, alien species, climate change - these all have an impact. The relative importance of these factors and their interactions is not well understood."

The review will begin with the launch of a report on current government policy and initiatives in England, while in September a series of workshops will bring experts together to discuss the issue.

And independent experts will look at the evidence on the state of UK pollinating insects, he will announce.

Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins said: "We're delighted that enormous pressure for a Bee Action Plan from scientists, businesses and the public has stung the Government into action.

"We all agree prompt measures are needed to tackle all the threats bees and other pollinators face, but an urgent and comprehensive route map and timetable are needed to ensure this happens.

"The Minister's plan of action must be in place when bees emerge from hibernation next spring - we can't afford to gamble any longer with our food, countryside and economy."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
News
peopleWarning - contains a lot of swearing
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

£15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project