0 Government: take five simple steps to help bees

Environment Department urges people to help protect the struggling British bee population. The public are being urged by the Environment Department (Defra) to take five practical steps to protect our bees and other pollinating insects.

Defra published their five point plan as part of a call to action launched on Friday by Environment Minister Lord de Mauley at a conference organised by Plantlife, The Rare Breeds Survival Trust and The Wildlife Trusts.

The proposal doesn't just apply to bees either; there are at least 1500 species of insect pollinators in the UK, including hundreds of types of hoverflies, butterflies and moths.

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These pollinators provide variety in our diets and some crops, like raspberries, apples and pears, particularly need insect pollination to produce good yields of high quality fruit. Defra states that research has estimated the value of insect pollination to crops at around £400 million.

Lord de Mauley said: "Pollinators such as bees are vital to the environment and the economy and I want to make sure that we do all we can to safeguard them.That's why we are encouraging everyone to take a few simple actions and play their part in helping protect our bees and butterflies."

Friends of the Earth Executive Director Andy Atkins added: "The good news is that everyone can be part of the generation that helps saves our bees, from creating a 'Bee World' wildflower patch in your local area to helping scientists monitor bee health by logging any bees you spot with the free Great British Bee Count app."

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