Stakeholders call for urgent research to combat Honey Bee plight

Honey bee pests and diseases are the principal problem affecting bee colonies in the UK, a group of the key stakeholders in the UK beekeeping industry has concluded.

The honey bee is under threat - photo: Istockphoto
The honey bee is under threat - photo: Istockphoto

The group - which includes the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Bee Farmers Association (BFA), the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA), and Rowse Honey - met last week and was united in the view that comprehensive research and development is needed to find ways to combat the UK’s declining bee population.

It endorsed the campaign of the BBKA to increase Defra funding for bee health research by £8 million over five years.

The number of bee colonies in the UK has declined by more than 75 per cent in the last 100 years.

An NFU representative said: “UK crops with a farm gate price of more than £165m are dependant upon bee pollinations.

“The honey bee is the only pollinator that can be managed commercially for pollination outdoors.”

To help the BBKA’s call for increased funding download the petition from their website at

http://www.britishbee.org.uk/bbka_research_campaign.php.


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