Defra and Welsh Assembly launch Healthy Bees plan

Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government have launched Healthy Bees, a 10-year plan to protect and improve the health of honey bees in England and Wales.

This follows the government's January pledge to invest £4.3 million in bee health issues.

The first stage of the Healthy Bees plan will involve making contact with the estimated 20,000 amateur beekeepers in England and Wales, to make sure that they are aware of the need to alert the National Bee Unit (NBU) to bee health problems and encourage them to register on BeeBase, its beekeepers' database.

The past two years have seen recorded losses of between 10 to 15% in bee numbers although it is believed the real number lost could be significantly higher.

Environment minister Jane Kennedy said: "We need to do all we can to safeguard the health of honey bees which pollinate our plants. This plan is a blueprint for doing that."
 
The NFU is also encouraging beekeepers to join BeeBase.

"The database enables good access to information" said NFU horticulture adviser Chris Hartfield. "It is free to register and you can get access to services including home visits by a fully qualified inspector, the latest pest and disease information, advisory leaflets and online apiary and diagnostic histories."

£2 million of the government funding will go towards a five-year research programme investigating the reasons behind the decline in bee numbers.

View: www.defra.gov.uk/hort/Bees/wnew.htm.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will the fresh-produce growing season pan out with less labour?

How will the fresh-produce growing season pan out with less labour?

The new fresh-produce season is around the corner and Brexit just over a year away, yet the Government has still given no indication that it will enable seasonal workers to come to the UK in the volumes the sector requires, either in this season or any other.

What recent developments can help growers fight orchard pests and diseases?

What recent developments can help growers fight orchard pests and diseases?

Last week's British Independent Fruit Growers Association Technical Day (31 January), heard about the latest research in orchard pests and diseases and how to deal with them.

Is a move away from plastic produce packaging now inevitable?

Is a move away from plastic produce packaging now inevitable?

A tipping point has been reached in the attitude of retailers and the Government to waste plastic which is likely to affect suppliers' future packaging options.