Recently the landscape of the United Kingdom was changed, possibly forever. We saw what may be one of the defining moments of our generation. (And I don’t mean England being unceremoniously dumped out of Euro 2016). The decision made by the British public in the recent referendum to leave the European Union has left many to question what that means for the future of the country in all walks of life. It has been viewed by some as a sad d
ay for Britain, one group who would be inclined to agree with this view is environmental campaigners like myself and my friends at Friends of the Earth.
The positive impact the European Union legislation had had on protecting British wildlife, going a long way in creating a greener economy and preventing climate change was huge.
We started arranging our Chester Bee Summit with the strength of EU legislation behind us, which banned bee harming pesticides from being used in all countries in the European Union. The National Union of Farmers (NFU) and some MPs fought the ban when it was first introduced. The ban on the use of neonicotinoid (neonics) was put into place by the EU in 2013. The use of these chemicals has been linked to huge losses in the number of queen bees, which is said to hugely impact on a bee’s ability to find its way back to the nest.
In recent years the United Kingdom has made strides backwards when it comes to the protection of bee’s through banning of harmful chemicals.
May 2015 – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are in charge of imposing the ban in the UK. In 2015 the UK government allowed a temporary lift on the ban. It allowed the use of two neonics. In certain regions for a period of 120 days. Paul de Zylva, Friends of the Earth said at the time “Ever more scientific evidence shows just how dangerous these chemicals are to bees and other pollinators”
August 2015- In August research by Defra showed a correlation between honey bee colony losses and use of the neonicotinoid imidicloprid in England and Wales over an 11 year period.
May 2016– Defra rejects a call from NFU to lift the ban; they requested the use of banned neonics on oilseed rape crops.
Chester & District Friends of the Earth (FoE) aims and objectives
We worry that the National Farming Union (NFU) may get its way, we may see the ban lifted and that will not be a good thing for the bees and other pollinators.
We need to keep the pressure on the UK government and call for an outright ban in line with changed made in France in March this year.
We also want business and groups in Chester and region to create more wildlife spaces.
We have a Quiz Night on Friday 1st July at The Custom House in Chester where we are raising funds to buy seeds for local not for profits groups looking to create wildlife spaces, we would love for as many people as possible to come own to support our cause and British Bee’s.
“Beecause” why not?
As well as our Quiz night we also have our Bee Summit at Chester Zoo on 14th July. We are working alongside Chester Zoo and its Wildlife Connections Campaign as a part of Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign.
We will be hearing from a number of experts incluing:
Sandra Bell, Nature Campaigner: Friends of the Earth
Carl Clee, Regional and National Bee Specialist
Tony Parker, Assistant Curator of Zoology, World Museum of Liverpool.
Dr Phillip Putwain & Timothy Baxter, Botanist, University Liverpool, Botanical Gardens
The Bee Summit is a free event- please book HERE.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org for our flyer or to book.