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Bees: Research

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 24 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the funding required by the National Bee Unit from his Department to maintain its programme of research into honey bee health at 2008-09 levels in each of the next five years; and if he will make a statement. (278853)

DEFRA commissioned approximately £200,000 of research from The Food and Environment Agency's National Bee Unit (NBU) in 2008-09. DEFRA is contributing £2.5 million over the next five years to the insect pollinator initiative announced on 21 April under which up to £10 million will be available from a number of different funders. The initiative is being developed under the Living with Environmental Change programme and the NBU will be eligible to bid for funds. Decisions on what projects will be funded will be made by the Initiative's funders on the basis of whether they fulfil the eligibility criteria, address the issues outlined in the research call and on the basis of their quality. There is also a limited budget available to fund projects at the NBU to address urgent bee health needs.