Insect pollinators like bees have always been useful for the environment, and their benefit to people has been well documented. Our relationship with them goes as far back as 6000 BC in Spain, with humans relying on honey for food, medicine and candle-making. Bees are responsible for pollinating more than 90 flowering crops, including apples, cucumbers, cherries, blueberries and avacados.
But the population of British bees are under threat now more than ever. This comes from bee-harming pesticides called neonics. These are systemic pesticides that are absorbed into a plant. When a bee feeds on the pollen, the neonic damages its nervous system and affects navigation and reproduction.
In 2013, three of the pesticides were band in the EU following a vote from the European Members States. This was due to the high risk to honeybees, but the companies who make the chemicals are resistant to change. Neonics have also contributed to the decline of butterflies and birds, meaning action needs to be taken.
In 2017 the EU will vote on whether to continue to ban the pesticides, and the UK government hasn’t decided who to support yet. Friends Of The Earth have started a petition to urge the government to introduce a permenant ban on neonics. The petition needs 20,000 signatures and you can sign it here.
Once the petition is ready it will make the UK government take notice of the plight of bees. As a result, future pesticide regulations will be made transparent and the environment will be protected. Be a part of the generation that saves our bees.