Protection of Pollinators

Thank you for contacting me about measures to protect pollinators.

I entirely agree with you that bees and other pollinators play an essential role in our food production and are vital to the survival of our wild plants. There are around 1,500 species of insect pollinator in the UK, and I welcome all work to protect them. 

Over the last few years, efforts by Government, beekeepers, conservation groups, farmers and researchers have been brought together under the National Pollinator Strategy. This is a ten-year plan to improve understanding and awareness of the status and role of pollinators, create and enhance habitats and safeguard bee health. 

Since the Strategy was launched there has been encouraging progress on its aims to make farms, towns, cities and the countryside better places for our bees and other pollinators. A new national pollinator monitoring scheme has been introduced to improve our understanding of the status of bees and other insects, and following scientific evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to bees and other pollinators, its use outdoors was prohibited from 19th December 2018. 

I understand that working alongside a range of public, private and charitable bodies, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs coordinates an annual ‘Bees’ Needs’ campaign to acknowledge the very welcome work individuals do across the country to help protect pollinators.

I also welcome the launch of a new £60,000 fund to develop pollinator habitat mapping to identify where new habitats will benefit pollinators most. This will help boost the number of pollinator-friendly landscapes and protect the health of our pollinators. My parliamentary colleague, Ben Bradley MP, withdrew his Protection of Pollinators Bill upon the announcement of the fund, considering its objectives to have been largely met.