On Friday 18th July Andrew Mitchell MP met Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigners at his constituency office for a photo-call and a chat about the plight of bees and other pollinators in the UK.

The show of support consolidated Andrew Mitchell’s support for a strong strategy on bees. In the past, Mr Mitchell has been vocal about the need to reverse the decline in the number of bees and other pollinators, and has emphasised the importance of pollinators in order to maintain food security. Members of the Friends of Sutton Park Association, Eco-Sutton and Sutton Coldfield Bee-keepers Association were also in attendance.

We’ve been campaigning for action on the declining number of bees for over two years as part of the national Friends of the Earth Bee Cause campaign. The decline in population will result in significant food insecurity worldwide. Of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees. Honeybees alone pollinate a third of the food we consume.

We were therefore glad to see Mr Mitchell reaffirm his support for strong action on Pollinator decline.

Tom Garrood, our lead campaigner on biodiversity, said

“The Government rightly recognises the need for an action plan to safeguard Britain’s vital bees – but these proposals need to be considerably strengthened if we’re to get Britain buzzing again.

“Pollinators, such as the Long-horned Bee play a crucial role in our farms, gardens and countryside – we cannot afford to take them for granted.

“The Long-horned Bee, like many bee species across the country, is facing an unprecedented crisis – Ministers must ensure all the threats are tackled, especially those from intensive farming and pesticides.”

Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, said

“Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem and we rely on them for many of the foods we eat very day. I urge the Government to strengthen the draft National Pollinator Strategy to protect bees, including the Long-Horned Bee.

“We need serious action to tackle the effects of intensive monoculture farming and rising pesticide use on the UK’s bee populations.”