Honeybees

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Paula Bradley Paula Bradley DUP 3:15 pm, 17th November 2020

T6. Ms P Bradley asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the honeybee is protected in Northern Ireland and what practical measures he may explore in doing so. (AQT 696/17-22)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 3:30 pm, 17th November 2020

The honeybee is an incredibly important aspect of our environment and biodiversity. I have spoken to officials about developing a strategy on honeybees and worms, as both species make a massively important contribution. Some people perceive them as just tiny insects, but they have a vital role in the successful production of our food. It is certainly something that we are cognisant of. America has lost about a third of its honeybee population through the production of almonds, because people think that they are helping the environment by drinking almond milk. However, the consequences of doing that are devastating.

We are very supportive of the honeybee population, and we will be looking at measures to increase the numbers of honeybees in Northern Ireland.

Photo of Patsy McGlone Patsy McGlone Social Democratic and Labour Party

I ask Members to take their ease while other Members and Ministers to enter the Chamber.