Bees and Other 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 plant populations. There are 1,500 species of insect pollinator in the UK, and I welcome work over the last few years to protect them. These efforts have been brought together in the National Pollinator Strategy.

This is a ten-year plan to improve our understanding of the status and role of pollinators, increase the area of habitat for pollinators, raise awareness of their importance, and safeguard bee health. It also sets out new work to be done immediately, building on longer-term initiatives. These include conserving and creating good quality wild flower meadows, and minimising risks from pesticides. The Government is working with a range of public, private and charitable bodies to create bee and insect friendly habitats.

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 pollinators. Ministers continue to work with partners such as Friends of the Earth, British Beekeepers’ Association and Kew to deliver it.

I especially welcome the launch of a new £60,000 fund to develop and test pollinator habitat mapping, working in partnership with other organisations to identify where new habitats will benefit pollinators most. This will help to boost the number of pollinator-friendly landscapes and protect the health of our bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moths and hoverflies. 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.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Craig Whittaker MP

November 2018