MP joins battle to try to stem 
decline in UK bee population

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A Bradford MP is backing a campaign to try to stop the population of British bees from dwindling.

David Ward has joined campaigners from Friends of the Earth to draw attention to the alarming decline in the number of bees in the UK.

Last year Friends of the Earth launched its Bee Cause campaign, which has been backed by more than 80,000 people and calls for the government to urgently introduce a National Bee Action Plan aimed at saving bees.

Mr Ward, who represents Bradford East, said: “I am extremely concerned about the rapid decline in British bees. They’re not only an iconic part of our countryside; they play a vital role in pollinating our crops and flowers too.”

A sharp fall in the number of bees in recent years has led to growing concerns about the impact it may have on people’s local environment, farmers and the economy.

Last year a study found that if bees disappeared it would cost British farmers at least £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops by hand, which would cause food prices to rocket.

Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign is asking David Cameron to adopt a National Bee Action Plan to ensure towns and countryside provide bees with enough flowers to feed on and places to nest; to help farmers, gardeners and park keepers to reduce chemicals that harm bees; and to protect Britain’s 250+ bee species.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “I’m delighted David Ward MP is showing support for Britain’s threatened bees – they are under severe threat and need all the support they can get. People up and down the country can help by creating bee-friendly gardens and habitats to enable bees to thrive, but it is vital that the Government does its bit too by introducing a National Bee Action Plan.”

Bee numbers in Britain have fallen dramatically in recent years and two bumblebee species are already extinct.

Scientific evidence confirms that declining bee numbers will impact significantly on the UK’s farming sector, food prices and security, and the quality of the countryside.

Bees and other insects help pollinate over 75 per cent of Britain’s plants.