Honey Bees at Risk!

An Economic and Ecological Disaster in the making!

Stop the Government Cuts

The Government Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) plans to cut

the already small Bee Health Programme budget by 20%.

 For a saving of a mere £250,000 in the massive £3.2 billion Defra budget they will put at risk

 the UK honey bee population by sacking half the team of Seasonal Bee Inspectors.

Beekeepers depend on these trained professionals to diagnose highly contagious

 brood diseases’ which cause colony death if not controlled.

At the same time, Defra plans to ‘de-regulate’ the most common of these brood diseases,

 called European Foul Brood,(EFB) by making it non-notifiable. This will effectively leave

 the beekeeper alone in the difficult task of identifying and treating this disease. The net

 result will be increased frequency and spread of EFB, resulting in loss of bee colonies

 and a massive reduction in ‘the pollination army’ of honey bees, which currently

 contribute more than £120 million per annum to agricultural output, according to

government figures.

There are virtually no wild honey bees left due to the effects of another disease, the varroa mite,

 which is parasitic. Beekeepers are now the guardians of the honey bee population in the UK.


What’s at stake:

! Cuts save £250,000 but risk the £120million contribution to agriculture

! Cuts will devastate the bee population

! Cuts will have a knock-on ecological effect

! Cuts mean UK Honey production will decline massively

! Cuts mean honey prices will rocket

! Cuts will increase the incidence of brood diseases

! Deregulation of EFB will result in increased incidence of this and other diseases


What can you do:

! Sign the BBKA Public Petition

! Get your friends to sign the Petition (Copies from BBKA)

! Write to your MP (address in local phone book)

! Write to Defra (Right Hon Margaret Beckett MP, Secretary of Statefor Environment Food and Rural Affairs,Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR)