Defra has partnered with Carnaby London, the leading West End shopping and dining destination to kick off the week of bee and pollinator action from government, conservation groups, industry and retailers to raise awareness of the campaign and the ways people can help save the bees.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:
Bees and other pollinators are vital contributors to the beauty of our landscapes, our economy and our £100 billion food industry.
It is inspiring to see such a wide range of organisations celebrating these essential creatures for this unique Bees’ Needs campaign – showing us that all of us can play a part and help pollinators to thrive.
Recent actions Government has taken to protect bees include:
• The Government is developing a Nature Recovery Network in England to provide 500,000 hectares of additional wildlife habitat, more effectively linking existing protected sites and landscapes, thereby improving access to habitat for pollinating insects;
• In November 2017, the Environment Secretary announced that the Government supported further restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoids due to their harmful effects on bees and other pollinators, and the UK voted in favour of the EU Commission’s proposal in April 2018;
• Since 2015, nearly half (47%) of new Countryside Stewardship agreements included the Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package. The package ensures that a minimum of 3% of the farm is converted to habitat for farm wildlife including pollinators;
• Defra has funded new research by the University of Exeter which has found a way to track the invasive Asian hornet back to the nest. The hornets prey on honeybees so tracking the predator back to the nest will enable inspectors to take swift action and destroy them;
• Defra has provided a home for the rare Black Bee to the hives on the roof of the department’s London building. This particular species was on the verge of extinction a few years ago.
Two schools, St Albans School in Hampshire and Trythall in Cornwall, will receive the Pollinator Champion Award from Lord Gardiner, which recognises their invaluable work in helping pollinators thrive.