Praise For £10 Million Bee Initiative

21 April 2009
Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, Alyn Smith MEP, has today welcomed the announcement that up to £10 million is to be invested in a project which seeks to identify the main threats to bees and other insect pollinators.

The funding has been made available through a joint initiative of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government.

Alyn Smith said:

"In a twelve month period, Scotland saw its bee population decline by a massive 30%, while other EU states have seen even worse declines. To put this into context, beekeeping organisations estimate that every third mouthful of food consumed in the EU could be pollinated by bees, so a catastrophic collapse in bee populations is something that must be investigated urgently.

"Today's funding announcement is therefore especially welcome. Scotland is well placed to help with this research, and this money will support and develop the work that is already taking place across the country as part of the Scottish Government's ambitious honeybee recovery plan."