Yesterday's decision today to introduce EU-wide restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides linked to bee decline is a victory for bees and common sense, said Friends of the Earth.
However, the environmental charity, warned that pesticides are not the only threat bees face, and renewed its call for the UK Government to urgently introduce a Bee Action Plan.
Through its Bee Cause campaign Friends of the Earth played a major role in persuading leading home and garden retailers to act on neonicotinoid insecticides. Over recent months firms such as B&Q, Homebase, Wyevale and Dobbies have taken these products off their shelves – and Waitrose announced plans to remove these chemicals from supply chains.
Friends of the Earth’s Head of Campaigns Andrew Pendleton said:
“This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleagured bee populations.
"Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators.
"But pesticides are just one of the threats bees face – if David Cameron is genuinely concerned about declining bee numbers he must urgently introduce a Bee Action Plan."
Commenting on the UK Government's failure to support restrictions on neonicotinoids, Andrew Pendleton said:
"The UK Government's refusal to back restrictions on these chemicals, despite growing scientific concern about their impact, is yet another blow to its environmental credibility.
"Ministers must now help farmers to grow and protect crops, but without relying so heavily on chemicals – especially those linked to bee decline.”
By xlibber (Bee Â Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons