Creating a buzz: Stockport bee-lovers urging David Cameron to act on declining numbers

By Ross McLean

Reversing the alarming trend of falling bee numbers in the UK should be made a priority, says a Greater Manchester Member of Parliament.

Andrew Stunell MP is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to commit to the Friends of the Earth Bee Action Plan to tackle the major causes of declining numbers.

And Hazel Grove’s parliamentary representative has praised constituents for playing their part in supporting the insects, including planting bee-friendly seeds and building ‘bee hotels’ to replace lost habitat.

“I am extremely concerned about the rapid decline in British bee numbers,” he said.

“I’m doing my bit by asking the Government to introduce a Bee Action Plan to tackle all major causes of bee decline.

“Bees are not only an iconic part of our countryside but they play a vital role in pollenating our crops and flowers too.

“It’s great news that Friends of the Earth is creating a buzz about these crucially important insects – I’ll be doing all I can to help protect our bees in Stockport in 2013.”

Factors such as disease and the use of chemicals have been identified as key reasons for declining bee populations.

However, it is the loss of habitat which is cited as the primary cause of fewer bee colonies, with research showing this to be particularly detrimental to one species of bee in particular – the Wall Mason Bee.

This bee is most at risk by disappearing green spaces and according to a University of Reading report, the North West region is critically important for the future of this species.

Andrew Pendleton, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth, is pleased the campaign is gathering pace and points to the significant, if unheralded, role bees play in everyday life.

“We’re delighted that Andrew Stunell is listening to people in Hazel Grove and has pledged to help save bees, especially the Wall Mason Bee,” he said.

“Bees are vital to our food supply, green spaces and economy, but they are in trouble. The Government must act urgently to stop their decline.”

Friends of the Earth believe their Bee Action Plan would prove successful in reviving bee numbers, not only across the North West but the nation as a whole.

The plan includes the creation of safe bee worlds, greater protection for existing worlds and local authorities ensuring future developments passed under planning law are bee-friendly.

The plan also calls for an increase in the number of bee experts, who have adequate expertise, to be retained within Government agencies.

Picture courtesy of Tom Gill, with thanks.

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