Stephen has committed to protect bees in the UK, speaking out against proposed plans to temporarily lift a ban on bee-harming pesticides. He made the declaration as government ministers look at requests to let dangerous pesticides - known as neonicotinoids - back into UK soil this autumn, despite clear evidence of how much damage they do to our bees.
Recent figures show that bees contribute £651 million to the UK economy each year - up 51% since 2007. For instance 85% of the UK’s apple crops and 45% of our strawberry crop relies on bees to grow.
The ban was voted for by European governments in 2013 after numerous scientific studies found that certain pesticides were particularly harmful to bees. Since then even more studies have supported the need for this ban.
Speaking after attending the ‘Threat to bees from pesticides event’ held recently in Westminster, Stephen said : “I’m committed to doing all I can as an MP to protect bees in the UK. Speaking up to make sure this ban on bee-harming pesticides is kept in place is critical. The government needs to listen to the concerns expressed by many of my constituents and keep the ban in place and deny emergency authorisation for these pesticides this autumn.”
Friends of the Earth Bees Campaigner Dave Timms said: “Bees are crucial for our food and farming. The scientific evidence is growing all the time about the need to protect our much loved bees from these dangerous pesticides. It’s vital the Government keeps them out of our fields and gardens for good.”