Smith Buzzes In For Bees

08 September 2011

Alyn Smith MEP has added his support to a call to address the dramatic decline in the bee population. The campaign is for further research into the long term effects of certain pesticides and a ban of their use until their effects are clear.

 

Smith said:

"Bees are an integral part of our food chain and vital for world food production and so the decline in the bee popultation is incredibly worrying. What's more, research shows that bees alone are worth £26 billion to the global economy.

"Bees pollinate some 90% of the world's commercial plants, including most fruits, vegetables and nuts. Coffee, soya beans and cotton are also dependent on pollination by bees. But the insects, along with other crucial pollinators such as moths and hoverflies, have been in serious decline since the last few decades of the 20th century. It is unclear why, though some scientists believe pesticides are a contributing factor and we must take the necessary steps to find a solution to the problem.

"We in Scotland are well placed to help. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University has an impressive track record in research and can contribute to the understanding of this complex area. The Scottish Government also has an ambitious honeybee recovery plan, but I am clear that further EU action needs to be allocated to this issue urgently."