The economic threat to land husbandry for beesIn the farming sector, increased pressure to grow more food is increasing the demand for fertilisers and chemicals. The economics of agribusiness also means that many of the plants grown for food are not bee-friendly. This means that potentially there is less land for bees.

The decline in bee-friendly habitats means that honey bees have to travel further for less food. This weakens the bee population and makes it less able to withstand harsher winters and additional pressures such as fertiliser threats and, of course, infestation from the Varroa mite.

Government has tried to act and it researches bees at the National Bee Unit, run by the Food and Environment Research Agency at Sand Hutton in North Yorkshire. However, attempts to regulate damage caused by diseases and chemicals, have not been effective. The Bees Act, which was passed in 1980 and is the last piece of bee-friendly legislation introduced in the UK, has never been brought into force.

Flower and Bee 9As part of our work, Friends of the Honey Bee is talking with farmers and landowners about using more of their land for bees and about the value of planting for bees in borders and hedgerows. Creating flowering environments for all our pollinators and helping make Britain buzz with bees again.

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Friends of the Honey Bee. Protecting the honey bee, preserving the future