Action plan urged as bee decline fuels pollination fears

Friends of the Earth (FoE) has called on the Government to commit to a British bee action plan. It claimed that unless the current decline in bee populations is arrested, growers will face a bill of £1.8bn to hand-pollinate crops in future.

According to FoE's nature campaigner Paul de Zylva: "Having to rely on hand-pollination would send food prices rocketing. Bees are responsible for most of our favourite fruit and vegetables so as well as the huge blow to our economy, our diet would also suffer."

Hand-pollination of commercial fruit crops is already a costly reality in parts of China where native bee populations have been wiped out. More than half of UK honey bees kept in managed hives have been lost since the mid 1980s, while wild honey bees are nearly extinct, said FoE.


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