It is evident that stringent measures need to be adopted in order to save our bee population, at a national and local level and across government.
Friends of the Earth is urging the government to compose a National Bee Action Plan, which will involve working with businesses, farmers and other government agencies to ensure that our bees are protected. The implementation of a National Bee Action Plan would help bring about national policies – such as planning regulations to protect habitat and sustainable farming methods to protect against further pollinator declines and promote biodiversity.
Wildflower-rich habitats such as meadows and grasslands need to be restored, conserved, maintained and linked to others via ‘bee corridors’. Agricultural expansion has been one of the main drivers for the loss of habitat and forage, but can be harnessed to reverse the process. The provision of greater subsidies (some funding is already available, see Natural England and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust) for farmers for environmental stewardship would encourage them to take an active role in creating and preserving wildflower meadows with no financial loss.
The use of certain systemic pesticides linked with harmful effects on bees should be banned. Despite recent research strongly linking some neonicotinoid pesticides with an interference with bees’ ability to navigate and produce queen bees, pesticide manufacturers and the UK government still deny that neonicotinoids cause significant problems for bees. Germany, Italy and France have all suspended the use of key insecticides over such fears.
Providing subsidies for bee keeping could boost the UK honeybee population. Over 90 per cent of the UK’s honeybee population exists thanks to the efforts of 17,000 amateur beekeepers.
Raising public awareness of the issues and the actions that can be taken on a local or individual level will influence people to take action.
Friends of the earth is campaigning to help save our bees and encouraging people and businesses to take steps in becoming more bee friendly.
This includes calling for a ban on bee harming pesticides, encouraging more biodiversity and making homes and gardens more bee-friendly.