Bees

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 9th March 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the health of the bee population in the UK.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The current honey bee health programme aims to manage pests and diseases present to low levels whilst keeping harmful exotic pests and diseases out of the UK. The programme was developed with beekeeping experts and stakeholders and is actively monitored by Defra and the National Bee Unit each year. Bee inspectors monitor for changes in pest and disease prevalence through an annual surveillance programme of over 5000 apiary inspections. Trends in prevalence are published on the National Bee Unit website.

As part of the National Pollinator Strategy, Defra is undertaking work to establish baselines for wild bee population trends and to monitor UK species distribution.

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