News story

New strategy to support bees' needs

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss is launching the National Pollinator Strategy to support bees and other pollinators

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Bee pollinating flower

The government is launching a new strategy to support bees and other pollinators that are vital for fertilising plants so they produce fruits and seeds.

Organisations such as Network Rail, Highways Agency and the National Trust which manage more than 800,000 hectares of land in England have signed up to the National Pollinator Strategy, and pledged to take actions such as planting more bee-friendly wild flowers and allowing grass to grow longer.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

As much as one third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees –from apples and pears to strawberries to beans. We now estimate the value of insects pollinating our crops and plants amounts to hundreds of millions of pounds.

That’s why we are doing everything we can to help them thrive. Not everyone can become a beekeeper, but everyone from major landowners to window-box gardeners can play their part in boosting pollinators.

Defra is setting up bee hives on the roof of their building in London and supermarkets including Waitrose and Coop have been distributing bee-friendly flower seeds to their customers.

Motorway verges, railway embankments and forests will be used to create bee and insect friendly paradises as part of the major new strategy to protect the 1500 species of pollinators in England.

Defra has also announced the first ever wild pollinator and farm wildlife package, which will see more funding made available to farmers and landowners that take steps to protect pollinators through the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

More information about how everyone can help pollinators is on the Bees’ Needs website.

Published 4 November 2014