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Farron Gives Backing to Plan to Save British Honey Bee

July 8, 2009 12:00 AM

An extra £10million earmarked for research and investigation into the declining numbers of Britain's insect pollinators has been welcomed by the Liberal Democrat Shadow Defra Secretary. Tim Farron MP has called for some of this funding to be given to the Sussex University Plan for Honey Bee Health and Well Being.

The extra investment is to be used to fund research into insect pollination, however Mr Farron has expressed his concern that not enough money will be given specifically for research into honey bees who are the principal pollinators of flowers and vital crops.

Mr Farron has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons in support of Professor Ratnieks' Sussex Plan. As the only Professor of apiculture in the UK, the Professor hopes to discover why hives are dying off and what can be done to fend off pests such as the deadly Varroa mite. This comes on the same day as the first All Party Parliamentary group on Bee Health which Mr Farron will be attending.

Mr Farron has tabled his motion as funding groups tasked with distributing £10m of Government and research council money consider how to divide it up.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The Western honey bee plays a vital role within the planet's eco-system, pollinating 70% of the food that we eat and contributing over £165 million per year to agricultural output.

"The Sussex Plan is the only research project currently running in the UK which is 100% dedicated to helping the honey bee in Britain in a practical way.

"Those responsible for divvying up this funding should consider the importance of gaining a better scientific understanding of the declining numbers of honey bees and help fund Professor Ratnieks' Sussex Plan to save the British honey bee."