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House of Lords written question HL295.

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL295, tabled on 29 June 2017

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to farmers and growers of the reduction in the bee population in the UK.

Answered on

12 July 2017

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in our £100 billion food industry. In 2014, Defra published an independent review of the evidence on the status and value of pollinators. The review estimated that the total value of all pollinators through the value of insect-pollinated crops in the UK was approximately £600 million per year.

The review also identified an overall decline in wild bee diversity over the last 50 years but concluded that we cannot say with confidence whether this impacts generally on the yield or quality of UK crops.

We are taking action to understand better and manage any risks associated with changes in pollinator populations. In collaboration with research institutes and volunteer organisations, we have established a pollinator monitoring and research partnership to gather further data and improve our understanding of the status of pollinators and pollination services in the UK. We have also introduced a Pollinator and Wildlife Package to our Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England and are working with farmers, business and conservation organisations to provide pollinator habitat on farmland, in urban areas and in gardens in order to boost pollinator populations.