Bees descend on Downing Street
29 January 2013
GIANT BEES URGE CAMERON TO DRAW UP BEE ACTION PLAN
THE 64,000 SIGNATURE QUESTION: WILL CAMERON ACT TO PROTECT BEES?
Giant bees descended on Downing Street today to sting the government into delivering a Bee Action Plan, as part of Friends of the Earth's Bee Cause campaign.
They delivered over 64,000 demands from UK residents, gathered by Friends of the Earth and Garden Organic.
The event comes as pressure mounts on the Government to act on bee decline. 89 MPs from across the political parties have called on the Prime Minister to introduce a Bee Action Plan and 125 attended an event on 15 January to express their concern about falling bee numbers. It also coincides with the Advisory Committee on Pesticides discussion on neonicotinoid pesticides, widely believed to be a contributing factor to bee decline.
The bees asked the Prime Minister to make 2013 The Year of the Bee and agree an action plan that should include restoring habitat, reducing pesticide use and protecting all species of bees. Numbers of UK bees have fallen fast for several years and two bumblebee species are already extinct.
Friends of the Earth senior campaigner Paul de Zylva said: "Britain is losing its bees fast and only urgent government action will stop it. Bees are vital to our way of life, helping our gardens, parks and farms to thrive. The British public is waking up to this issue; the big question is will Mr Cameron make 2013 the year of the bee by agreeing a Bee Action Plan."
Friends of the Earth's Bee Cause campaign is making 2013 the Year of the Bee. Visit www.foe.co.uk/bees for more actions.
Friends of the Earth's supporters sent the following message to the Prime Minister:
"Dear David Cameron,
"Britain's bees are under threat. Yet we need bees. They're important to our food supply, economy and quality of life. Along with thousands of others, I've joined The Bee Cause to help protect Britain's bees. But the Government needs to act too.
"Please adopt a National Bee Action Plan to ensure that the way we farm our food and plan our towns and cities gets bees back on track. The Government must also have the right experts in place to protect our most threatened species."
Bees are vital to so much of British life; they pollinate our food, help keep our farms in business and help our gardens, parks and countryside to thrive.
British bee numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years, affected by disease, chemicals and habitat loss. Suitable food and nesting sites are getting scarcer.
Friends of the Earth propose a National Bee Action Plan to include:
Help farmers, gardeners and park keepers to reduce chemicals that harm bees
Protect all 267 British bee species, not only the ones who make our honey
Ensure bees have enough flowers to feed on and places to nest in our towns and countryside
Friends of the Earth and Garden Organic ran parallel petitions asking for a National Bee Action Plan.
Accompanying the bees were Friends of Earth Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton; Garden Organic Chief Executive Myles Bremner; Friends of the Earth Local Group Coordinators Andy Durling (Eastbourne), Nathaniel Hulley (Islington) and Diana Wellings (Wanstead and Woodford).
Myles Bremner, Chief Executive of Garden Organic, said: "We're delighted so many people feel as strongly as we do that urgent action must be taken to save British bees now. If the Government introduces a National Bee Action Plan it would also help to protect a whole range of other beneficial insects that are vital for organic gardens to thrive."
Garden Organic's campaign is called Bee Heard and its next steps will be to urge local authorities to make parks and open spaces more bee-friendly and give schoolchildren a chance to play their part by creating bee hotels. To find out more visit www.gardenorganic.org.uk.
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Jan 2013