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House of Lords written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will allocate £8 million over five years from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's contingency fund specifically for research on bee health; and whether they will consult the British Beekeepers' Association and other interested parties to help prioritise research areas.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare)

Defra's contingency reserve is for tackling emergencies such as major disease outbreaks or natural disasters.

The expectation is that funding for commissioned research specific to honey-bee health will be around the same level as in previous years. In addition to this, honey-bee health benefits from other Defra-funded research activities.

A Bee Health Research Funders' Forum has been created to discuss priorities. Defra, the National Bee Unit and the British Beekeepers' Association participate along with other interested parties. Research priorities are also addressed in the draft bee health strategy, which is currently available for public consultation.

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