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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Backs Friends of the Earth's Bee Campaign

Monday, 21 January 2013

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford joined a giant bumble bee and campaigners from the environment charity Friends of the Earth this week to draw attention to the alarming decline in bee numbers.

Eilidh was one of more than 125 MPs to show their support for our threatened bees. Last year Friends of the Earth launched its Bee Cause campaign, which has been backed by more than 80,000 people and calls for the UK Government to urgently to introduce a National Bee Action Plan aimed at saving our bees.

Bees are not only makers of honey, they are also crucial for pollinating crops and plants. A sharp fall in their number in recent years has led to growing concerns about the impact this may have on our local environment, farmers and the economy.

A study last year found that if bees disappeared it would cost UK farmers at least £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops by hand - which would cause food prices, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, to rocket.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The rapid decline in bee numbers is a concern. They’re not only an iconic part of our countryside; they play a vital role in pollinating our crops and flowers too.

“Across the North-east there are many bee-keepers and honey producers and, indeed, I’ve met with some of them, and it’s clear that our local shops would be the poorer without their high quality honey.”

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“I’m delighted Eilidh Whiteford MP is showing support for Britain’s threatened bees – they are under severe threat and need all the support they can get.

“People up and down the UK can help by creating bee-friendly gardens and habitats to enable bees to thrive, but it is vital that the UK Government does its bit too by introducing a National Bee Action Plan.”

Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign is asking David Cameron to adopt a National Bee Action Plan:
  • to ensure our towns and countryside provide bees with enough flowers to feed on and places to nest; 
  • to help farmers, gardeners and park keepers to reduce chemicals that harm bees; 
  • and to protect Britain’s 250+ bee species, not only the ones who make our honey.

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