Andrew Smith MP

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Andrew calls for government action to boost the bee population

A healthy bee population is essential to our future food supply. Bee pollination keeps the cost of food down for all of us. If farmers had to pollinate by hand, they - and ultimately everyone - would face a total bill of £1.8 billion per year.

Bees are at risk from environmental pressures such as intensive land use, the loss of wildflower meadow habitat inch by destructive inch, and pesticides. In cooperation with Friends of the Earth and environmental campaigners within his constituency, Andrew has been working hard to give our bee population a boost.

Andrew has joined environmental campaigners to promote the Bee Cause campaign and sow a wildflower meadow at The Kidneys Nature Reserve, while paying close attention at the first Oxfordshire Bee Summit, organised by Friends of The Earth, businessmen, and environmental campaigners.

With the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy (NPS) set to be published in the Autumn, Andrew has written to the Environment Secretary with his own and many constituents’ concerns.

In particular, Andrew highlighted the vague role developers will play to protect bee habitats, asked how pesticides - which the Government recognises are a cause of bee decline - will be reduced, and how additional protection for bee habitat in the form of more wildflower meadows would happen.

“We need to look after bees, so that they keep looking after us”, Andrew said. “The Government must do more to ensure bee-friendly farming becomes the new normal as farming has a role to play in bee recovery. I will continue to monitor the NPS as it prepares to become Government policy, so that it can be the best it can possibly be.”

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