Chester Zoo and Chester & District Friends of the Earth are working together to save British Bees
They are calling on local residents, experts and businesses to help restore the habitats of our most important pollinators.
On 14th July 2016, Chester Zoo will welcome a diverse range of local representatives to a Bee Summit with the aim of coming together to accelerate collaborative action in order to help reverse bee decline, and protect other potentially at risk pollinators such as moths and butterflies.
The summit will be attended by a variety of people including conservationists, beekeepers, farmers, businesses, local authorities, students and community group volunteers.
Helen Tandy, of Friends of the Earth, says, “We were looking to arrange an event in Chester and one of the suggested locations was Chester Zoo. The zoo has already arranged many of its own events under its Wildlife Connections banner, and our request for them to help host a Bee Summit fitted well into its programme.”
“Friends of the Earth are delighted that the Government is committed to putting in place a strategy to tackle all causes of bee decline. But we, the public, also need to help turn this strategy into action locally. Wild bees and other natural pollinators are incredibly important to our environment and food security. In the UK, solitary bees are in serious decline and some species of bumblebee have been lost altogether. We urgently need more action to tackle this potentially devastating situation and I’m pleased that Chester Zoo is playing its part collaboratively.”
At the Bee Summit, experts will share their insights into the current situation to help inform discussions in order to find a way to improve the protection of pollinators in Cheshire and Flintshire.
Pollinators are essential for enabling flower fertilisation. Apples, strawberries and onions, are examples of the many foods which rely on pollination. Declines in the health and population of bees and other pollinators are posing a risk to global biodiversity, long-term food security and ultimately human health. The decline of bees and other pollinators could lead to significant increases in the price of our food.
“Habitat loss is a major factor contributing to bee population decline across the UK,” continued Helen Tandy. “Creating and restoring habitat for bees and other pollinators is something we can all get involved in – from planting pollinator-friendly plants in our gardens to helping restore flower-rich meadows in our countryside and demanding local authorities think and act pollinator-friendly”.
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Helen Tandy Treasurer Chester & District Friends of the Earth 07885 777296
- Bees and other pollinating insects have been declining in recent decades, with losses affecting over 80% of our butterfly species, crashes in honey bee colonies and the extinction of two bumble bee species. 80% of plant species in Europe are insect pollinated, including crops and wild plants.
- Cheshire has around 100 bee species, compared to more than 260 species across the UK – though the UK has lost 20 species of bee since 1900.
- Regional specialties are the vernal bee, Colletes cunicularius and the square jawed sharp-tailed bee (Coelioxys mandibularis) both found on the Wirral.
- The Government recognises the economic value of the UK’s insect pollinators at £510 million per year. If farmers had to grow crops without pollination by bees it would cost UK farmers an extra £1.8 billion per year, raising food prices.
- The National Pollinator Strategy was announced by Lord de Mauley of Defra in June 2013. Its development is advised by the ‘Defra expert group’ and workshops with stakeholders. The Strategy was published March 2014.
- The Chester & District Bee Summit brings together local organisations and people with an interest in bees and their conservation. Keynote speakers include:
- Sandra Bell, Nature Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
- Tony Parker, Honorary Curator of Aculeate Hymenoptera (bees wasps and ants) , World Museum Liverpool
- Dr Phillip Putwain & Timothy Baxter, Botanist, University of Liverpool Botanic Gardens Ness
- For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently. For further information visit http://www.foe.co.uk