New insecticide - does it threaten Britain’s bees?

Small bees SUS-160604-140833001
Small bees SUS-160604-140833001

Heathfield MP and beekeeper Huw Merriman is urging fellow MPs to attend a Westminster debate about the impact of strong insecticides on bees.

Huw is chair of the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group for Bees which holds a debate between the NFU and Friends of the Earth to launch its 2016 programme.

The debate called ‘Neonicotinoids: Friend or Foe’ is held on Wednesday. April 27 and pitches the two organisations against each other before MPs and other interested bodies.

He said: “MPs say they’ve received more constituency campaign correspondence urging a ban on Neonicotinoids than on any other issue since the 2015 election (including military action in Syria).

“MPs have not had a chance to hear the opposing case so I hope that this debate will be a chance for both organisations to make their case.”

Neonicotinoids are a relatively new form of insecticide taken up by plants and transported through tissues rather than remaining as a coating on the outside of the plant.

Many environmentalists believe they contribute towards the decline of bee colonies. The science behind this is open to interpretation although some EU countries have banned them.

The APPG for Bees was formed at the start of this year. All 650 MPs have a calendar of events including visits to honey farms, Kew Gardens and a viewing of the hives at Defra as well as talks from experts.

Mr Merriman said: “The group seeks to explain the challenges faced by our bees and other native pollinators and what steps we can take through Parliament to help our species survive and thrive.”

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