Through their important role in pollinating flowering plants, honey bees make a vital contribution to sustainable agriculture. Reflecting this, DEFRA continues to fund a programme of controls and education for beekeepers via the National Bee Unit and the Bee Inspectorate.
DEFRA’s Bee Health Programme underpins bee health policy and covers work on exotic and statutory pests and diseases of bees. Research is carried out to fill gaps in the knowledge base used to support policy and to allow evidence-based policy decision making. The research should deliver results which can be used by Government and the craft of bee keeping in combating pests and diseases.