Bees

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the change in the bee population over the summer of 2015.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Records from volunteer societies provide a rich source of data and can be analysed to show how bee populations are changing. In 2014 Defra published a pilot indicator of changes in the wild bee population in the UK. This showed that between 1980 and 2010 some bee species had become more widespread, but that a greater number had become less so.

Defra is working with the research community to improve and update this indicator on pollinators. However, there is currently insufficient data to provide an assessment of changes over the summer of 2015. We hope to update the indicator in future years.

The Government continues to work to strengthen monitoring. In 2014 Defra commissioned a two-year project to develop a robust and affordable framework for monitoring pollinators, which can be applied by volunteers and professionals across the UK. This will report in early 2016.

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