George Eustice MP 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.
George was one of more than 125 MPs to show their support for Britain’s threatened bees. 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 introduce a National Bee Action Plan aimed at saving our bees.
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 veg, to rocket.
“I am extremely concerned about the rapid decline in British Bees. They’re 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 – I’ll be doing all I can to help protect our bees in 2013."
Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:
“I’m delighted George Eustice 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.