Skip to main content

Bees: Diseases

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the additional £90,000, announced for research into bee colony collapse on 17 June 2008, has been allocated. (227328)

This funding has been allocated to the National Bee Unit (NBU). The Welsh Assembly Government have also allocated an additional £30,000 to the NBU to investigate colony losses in Wales.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken in response to the reported 30 per cent. bee population loss in winter 2007; what assessment he has made of the potential impact of this loss on food security; and if he will make a statement. (227330)

Reports of significant colony losses are being investigated as a high priority. To facilitate this, additional funds of £120,000 (£90,000 from DEFRA and £30,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government) have been allocated to the National Bee Unit to expand the investigations they started last year under a Horizon Scanning project into significant losses and to meet the demand for increased inspections of bee imports consequential to the colony losses.

DEFRA recognises the contribution that honey bees make to sustainable agriculture via their role in pollination and take seriously any threat to the sustainability of the beekeeping sector. The development of the Government's bee health strategy confirms our ongoing commitment to protecting and improving the health of honey bees and to sustaining and supporting beekeeping now and for future generations.