In March 2014 the Government published a draft National Pollinator Strategy (NPS) in response to widespread concerns from across the scientific community, business, farmers, civil society, politicians and the public for Britain’s declining bee populations, especially our wild bees.
We depend on bees for the reliable pollination of most of our fruit and vegetables and flowering of our gardens and countryside. Without bees, £1.8 billion a year would have to be spent hand-pollinating crops, as already happens in parts of China and India.
However, while the strategy is welcome, the finalised NPS (due to be published in October 2014) must include significant additional measures and clear ambitions on transforming the root causes of bee decline including habitat creation and protection and reducing pesticide use.
This briefing shares our views on the draft NPS with MPs and asks them to take action to improve the plan.