There is serious concern they would not be replaced with adequate UK protections, with pro-leave
Sam Lowe, Friends of the Earth Campaigner, said EU rules would not be replaced by British rules that are as strong: "This may appear a small issue in the context of the EU referendum debate, but it speaks volumes to the broader concerns of environmentalists across the board.
"With Brexiteers promising victory parties lit by bonfires of so-called red tape – including our vital nature protections – a future outside of Europe doesn’t look bright for Britain’s bees or our environment as a whole.
"If protection of bee’s habitats and food sources are watered down and bee-harming pesticides are reintroduced in Britain, there could be devastating consequences for Britain’s bees and for the whole food chain.
"This is one area of the referendum debate where the evidence is clear: the EU has been good for our environment, and leaving poses a significant risk."
Matt Shardlow, from the invertebrate conservation charity Buglife said: "Not only has the EU got a recent history of providing resolute protection for bees and pollinators, the European Parliament has requested an EU wide pollinator initiative.
"It would be a great shame if British people with their passion for pollinators and desire to reverse current declines were unable to contribute to this effort to save Europe’s endangered bees, moths and hoverflies."