Bill Wiggin MP joined Bee Cause to call on the Government to improve its plan to protect bees.

Bill Wiggin MP met Friends of the Earth campaigners at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham last month to encourage the Government to improve its plan, due to be published this autumn, to protect bees and other vital pollinating insects.

Bill Wiggin MP said: “I have bees at home and I would like to see them flourishing.

The role which bees play in the food chain cannot be understated, and a severe decline in our bee population could have major consequences for food production.

Bill Wiggin MP Bees at Conference

It’s clear that many people locally and around the country are deeply concerned about the loss of our bees.

I’m backing Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause Campaign for a tough national Bee Action Plan that fully tackles all the threats that bees face.” 

97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have disappeared in the past 60 years. And important bee habitat continues to be lost to development. Over 70% of UK land is farmed, so what happens there is pivotal to bees’ heath. Especially as they are under attack from varroa mite.

Friends of the Earth Chief Executive, Andy Atkins, said: “It’s crunch time for our bees – people, businesses and politicians from all parties have persuaded the Government to draw up an action plan to reverse bee decline.

“But the draft is too vague about how farmers and developers will help bees and fails to tackle the widespread use of toxic pesticides

That’s why it’s so important that MPs like Bill Wiggin MP have put their support behind the campaign to make sure that Britain’s hard-working bees get the proper rescue plan they need.”

Key facts about bees:

* Numbers of bees have been dropping at an alarming rate over recent years, with more than 20 UK bee species already extinct and about a quarter of those remaining at risk.

* Bees pollinate 75% of our main crops worldwide, including some of our favourite fruits like apples, strawberries and tomatoes, and textiles such as cotton.

* An independent study by the University of Reading estimates that it would cost over £1.8 billion every year to pollinate UK crops by hand.