Bee Heard campaign

Our Bee Heard campaign has helped reverse the decline of our bee population.

Last year, in partnership with other environmental organisations, we launched our Bee Heard campaign in order to help keep our bees buzzing. Bees have been declining across the UK for the last 50 years and the evidence shows this is due to the increased use of pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids, disease and changes in farming practices.

The Bee Heard campaign began by lobbying MPs to put pressure on the Government to develop a National Bee Action Plan. A petition signed by 64,000 supporters was handed in to 10 Downing Street with 160 MPs pledging their support.

As a result, in November the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) launched the National Pollinator Strategy for England. The strategy sets out a ten year plan to help pollinating insects survive and thrive.

Our pollinators are vital for food production and biodiversity and they face a range of pressures from habitat loss to pests and diseases. The strategy includes information on the current evidence, and policy actions to support and protect the many pollinating insects which contribute to our food production and the diversity of our environment. It also explains what research is planned to find out more about the current state of our pollinators and how we can protect them. Pollinating insects include many different species of bees and other insects such as hoverflies, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths. You can read download a copy of the strategy here.

You can read more about our involvement in the National Pollinator Strategy through the Bee Heard campaign and how you can get involved here.

The government Select Committee, the Environmental Audit Commission, has voiced concern that some of the research will be funded by pesticide manufacturers. The Committee has warned that in order to command public confidence the report needs to be transparent and subject to independent controls. You can read more here.

Our Bee Heard campaign was also successful in campaigning against the use neonicotinoids, a group of insecticides that are believed to be a major threat to bees. In April 2013, 15 out of 27 member states voted to restrict the use of three neonicotinoids for two years as of 1 December 2013. While the UK voted against the ban, the majority of member states were in favour.

How you can get involved

  • Donate to us today so we can continue this vital work

  • Garden organically and make your garden bee-friendly

  • Support British bees by opening an ethical savings account. Triodos - the ethical bank - has pledged to make a donation of £40 to Garden Organic when our supporters open a savings account with them