Pollinator Strategy stings government into action over declining bee population

A new strategy aims to protect bees and by extension our food, countryside and economy

The government has revealed plans for a National Pollinator Strategy to tackle the decline of Britain’s bees and other pollinating insects.

Proposals outlined by minister Lord de Mauley in June have been welcomed by environment charity Friends of the Earth, which organised a 20,000-strong petition backing the plan.

Lord de Mauley said: “Pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supply and the quality of our natural environment. In safeguarding their future, we can secure our own.”

Some species of bumblebee have been lost altogether and others, including the wild honeybee, are nearly extinct.

As part of the plan, around 200,000 hectares of pollinator-friendly habitat will be created along with 12 new Nature Improvement Areas.

Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins said: “We’re delighted that enormous pressure has stung the government into action. The plan must be in place when bees emerge from hibernation next spring – we can’t afford to gamble any longer with our food, countryside and economy.”