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The pollination provided by bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem, with over three mouthfuls of the food we eat existing due to pollination. They are worth a staggering £690 million per year to the UK Economy and are the ultimate symbol of a healthy environment in terms of climate and food security.

Unfortunately, since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of bees and a further 35 species are under threat of extinction. The continued use of neonicotinoids and other harmful pesticides is among one of the reasons for the decline in bees, given that one teaspoon of pesticide kills 1.25 million bees.

The Scottish Government launched a strategy to make Scotland a more pollinator friendly and sustainable place by protecting indigenous bee and butterfly populations. The Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017 –2027 and its accompanying Implementation Plan Pollinator Strategy for Scotland 2017-2027 | NatureScot sets out how we can make Scotland a place where pollinators can thrive, and the actions needed to achieve these objectives will be encouraged such as raising public awareness to the value of Scotland’s pollinating insects and regulation of imported non-native species. 

However, the UK Government has authorised the continued use of harmful pesticides whilst the EU has banned such substances because they are so lethal to bees. Whilst the EU protects bees, the UK reneges on environmental standards and protections.

The UK Government must follow the example of the Scottish Government and European Union and ban pesticides and protect pollinators, otherwise, despite Scotland’s best efforts, our natural environment and biodiversity will be detrimentally impacted.


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