To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, at the town meeting to be held on 3 July, they will ensure that the £10 million funding programme aimed at multi-disciplinary research into insect pollination will be directed at addressing the decline in the honey bee population. [HL4315]
Decisions on what projects will be funded under the insect pollinator initiative will be made by the 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. Therefore, it is not possible to predict at this stage what proportion of funds will be allocated to specific areas. A meeting will be held in London on 3 July to launch the call for proposals and further details can be found on the Living With Environmental Change website.
Defra has recently provided increased funding of £4.3 million to bee health. Of this, £2.3 million will be provided to the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit over the next two years to implement the first stage of the Healthy Bees plan.
The remaining £2 million is being made available to the insect pollinator initiative on pollinator decline.
Defra has allocated £2 million to the new insect pollinator initiative being developed under the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) programme. We anticipate proposals on a wide range of important insect pollinator issues will be submitted which may include proposals for research on the native British black bee. However, decisions on what projects will be funded will be made by the 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. A meeting will be held in London on 3 July to launch the call for proposals and further details can be found on the LWEC website.
Defra launched its Healthy Bees plan on 9 March which seeks to address the challenges facing beekeepers and is aimed at sustaining honey bees’ health and beekeeping in England and Wales over the next decade.
Additional funding of £2.3 million over the next two years has been allocated to the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit to implement the first stage of the plan. These funds will be targeted at gaining a more accurate picture of the health of honey bee colonies and developing an enhanced education programme to drive up husbandry standards and disease awareness.
Our improved understanding of the national position will allow the development of a new robust disease control and surveillance programme for implementation from 2011 onwards. Scotland and Northern Ireland are developing their own strategies reflecting the different structures and agencies involved.