Bees at risk from killer chemicals

An increase in pesticide use is putting our bees at further risk – say leading bee experts in a new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth.

The report – The Decline of England’s Bees – from the University of Reading shows that pesticide use rose by 6.5% between 2005 and 2010.

That’s despite growing evidence of the harmful effect of pesticides on bees and other insects.

The report also reveals that:

  • The use of insecticides on bee-friendly flowers is increasing.
  • Herbicides are destroying sources of food for bees.
  • The Government is failing to protect bee-friendly wildlife sites.

Chelsea Flower Show

We sent two friendly bees to the Chelsea Flower Show yesterday. They were raising awareness about the report and our campaign – The Bee Cause. See our Flickr page photos.

Bees are critical to our food supply and economy. It would cost UK farmers £1.8bn a year to pollinate their crop without bees, pushing up food prices.

But numbers of some species have fallen dramatically. And two types of British bumblebee are already extinct.

The Bee Cause supporter, celebrity gardener and presenter of BBC’s Bees, Butterflies and Blooms, Sarah Raven, said:

“Bees are vital to our food supply and our economy so it makes sense for us to do everything in our power to save them."

"Being bee-friendly in our gardens is a great way to create much-needed places for bees to live and to up the amount of food in the UK for them."

Action in our gardens must be supported by action from Government to protect our British bees.

Sarah Raven, BBC presenter

Help save British bees

We want the Government to commit to a National Bee Action Plan to:

  • Suspend pesticides linked to bee deaths.
  • Strengthen planning policy to protect bee habitats.
  • Support all bee species not just managed honey bees.

Join our call for a National Bee Action Plan – and help protect British bees. Thank you.