Thursday, July 4, 2013

Victoria's Green Matters - 4th July 2013

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury

At long last our ‘greenest government ever’ has instigated an urgent review into the crisis facing bees and other pollinators in the face of continuing decline in insect populations.

More than a third of all honeybee colonies in England died over the winter, the worst losses that have occurred since the survey into winter survival rates began in 2007-08.

While the European Union suspended the use of three of the pesticides thought to be affecting bees, it is true to say that the wet and cold weather is enough to cause serious decline in bee colonies. The very wet summer, which caused bees to be confined to their hives and unable to go out and forage for food, in turn made the bees more susceptible to viruses and also left them with poor food stocks for the long, cold winter.

Bees and other pollinators fertilise three quarters of the world’s food crops but loss of habitat, poor weather and the use of pesticides have seen a severe decline in pollinator numbers over recent years.

Defra has at last realised that pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supplies and the quality of our natural environment and so has launched its review which will form the basis of a national pollinator strategy to bring together new initiatives and those already in place.

It is excellent that there are twelve new national nature improvement areas with better connected habitats and funding for nectar rich flower mixes to be sown on farmland.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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