Bees 'invoice' Government for services to UK economy

Giant bees presented Government economic advisors with an invoice for £1.8 billion for their annual pollination services to British agriculture today (18 July).

Friends of the Earth estimates bees contribute £1.8bn a year to the British economy - image: Morguefile
Friends of the Earth estimates bees contribute £1.8bn a year to the British economy - image: Morguefile
The publicity stunt, part of Friends of the Earth's The Bee Cause campaign targeted members of the Natural Capital Committee, who have been asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide independent expert advice on how the Government can properly value our natural environment when making decisions and forming policy.

Earlier this week a committee of MPs criticised the Government for failing to set out clear plans to deliver on its commitment to ensure Government decision-making fully values the services nature provides such as pollination of crops.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Government to save British bees - and save the nation billions of pounds - by committing to a British Bee action plan.

Friends of the Earth’s Nature Campaigner, Paul de Zylva said:

"Bees aren’t just valuable for the environment, they enrich our economy too - research shows that pollinating crops by hand would cost economy at least £1.8 billion each year.

"Unless urgent action is taken to tackle the decline in bee populations, farmers and consumers will be left to pick up an enormous bill.

"The Government must take steps to protect these crucial natural pollinators – a British Bee Action Plan is needed now."

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