There was good news for the Bee Cause campaign this week. A powerful group of MPs is to investigate the impact of pesticides on bees. The move follows mounting evidence about the harmful effect of neonicotinoids, including a recent report by Friends of the Earth.
The Environmental Audit Committee will quiz Ministers about why the UK has failed to join other European countries, such as France and Italy, in suspending use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The influential committee will also look at the effect of pesticides on human health and address broader issues, such as whether the Government should encourage alternatives to pesticides.
You can support the Bee Cause campaign by signing an online petition, which calls on David Cameron to introduce a National Bee Action Plan, including the suspension of neonicotinoid pesticides.
A recent Friends of the Earth poll revealed that 85 per cent of British people would like to see the Government increase the use of clean British energy and reduce the use of overseas gas.
This is not surprising as gas, coal and nuclear are the technologies of the past. Our country has the skills and the talent to be world-beaters in the renewable energy technologies of right now.
New onshore wind power is cheaper than nuclear power and developing offshore wind could create 66,000 UK jobs by 2020. We’re already a leader in tidal power, and our solar industry is a great British success, employing about 29,000 people.
This is why Friends of the Earth is urging the Government to switch from dirty imported fossil fuels and develop British power from our wind, power and water. It wants Energy Secretary Ed Davey to:
- Listen to what people want and tap into Britain’s wind and tidal resources and solar power.
- Ensure the UK isn’t locked into another generation of expensive, imported gas.
- Close the door on expensive nuclear power.
- Reverse the domination of the market by just a handful of big companies and allow new, clean companies get a look-in.
- Help millions around the country plug into affordable clean power.
You can read more about the Clean British Energy campaign and how you can support it by visiting the charity’s website.
Ministers must do more to promote wind power
This great blog from the Brentford Recycling Action Group gives more information about the Bee Cause campaign.
Brentford Recycling Action Group
Why is Friends of the Earth campaigning on bees?
Because bees are in trouble
Bee numbers in Britain have fallen dramatically in recent years. Three bumblebee species are already extinct.
Many factors are causing bees’ decline – from habitat loss, to disease, to climate change. There is also growing evidence that some pesticides harm bees.
Because we need bees
Bees are essential to our food supply, economy and quality of life:
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Under threat: bees play a vital part in our lives.
During a recent walk near Finchley, I came across a warning sign urging me to “approach with care, we have bee hives here.”
Curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t resist taking a closer look and, sure enough, behind a gate there stood two big hives with hundreds of bees working busily away inside.
The UK is home to over 250 species of bee, including honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees. They are important to our food supply and our economy, but they are declining at a worrying rate and action is needed to help them. Three bee species have become extinct and managed honey bee colonies, like the one I saw, fell by 53% between 1985 and 2005.
A new report by Friends of the Earth calls for action in several areas across Government, including looking at the way we farm our land and the way we plan our towns and cities.
The charity is calling on David Cameron to urgently draw up a National Bee Action Plan to reverse bee decline. It says the Prime Minister needs to work across Whitehall and with local and devolved governments – and with farmers, businesses and government agencies – to ensure that effective action for bees is put in place across the UK.
Friends of the Earth believe the Government’s new pesticides plan (being drafted this summer) must act to protect bees by phasing out use of those pesticides most harmful to bees, including suspending use of neonicotinoids while the latest evidence is reviewed, and help farmers find safer alternatives
The charity has launched an online petition and is organising a series of Bee Cause events around the UK. These include two bee walks organised by the local Hounslow and Brentford group on 2 and 8 September at Boston Manor Park, and a Bee Friendly planting in Highbury Park on 22 September.