The Bee Cause Campaign Comes to Chorlton Meadows
You may have heard from numerous press stories this Spring that our native bee populations are struggling due to a number of different environmental factors. The main one under the spotlight is the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in farming. These pesticides are widely used across the globe and research has suggested that they could be responsible for the dramatic decline in bees.
It is thought that two British bees have become extinct already, and many others are threatened. You might be wondering after this hot weather what the fuss is about? Surely you have seen many bees already this Spring? Sadly the story is very complex with different bees needed to pollinate certain plants and crops, lose one type of bee and there could be huge consequences for ecosystems and then the economy.
Bees pollinate around 75% of our crops and if we lose them, it would cost the economy around 1.8 billion to artificially do their job. This would result in a rise in food prices and taxes. This outcome almost sounds like some futuristic nightmare, but it is already occurring in China and there are predictions that the US will have to use such methods for certain crops.
So what can we do? Well like I said, this is one complicated potential disaster and there is no easy answer. However, Friends of the Earth are running the Bee Cause Campaign which is promoting awareness and gathering support to ask for a national bee plan. This plan will address all factors affecting populations to ensure there is a healthy future for our bees. Other organisations such as Avaaz and 38degrees are also actively campaigning for such a plan to be put into place.
Friends of the Earth have also launched the 'Year of the Bee' this year and local groups are creating official bee worlds throughout the UK. The Manchester group are set to create one in Parrs Wood on the 18th May which will have a positive impact on the biodiversity of the area.
For more information about the national campaign, please visit http://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/the_bee_cause_home_map_39371.html
If you would like to get involved locally and find out what we are doing in the area, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
As a local to Chorlton Meadows, I plan to do some bee spotting to see what is out there. Still a newbie to all things bee related, this will be an educational journey as well. Look forward to keeping you posted!
Stephanie Lynch - Campaign Lead for the Bee Cause Manchester, May 2013