Labour MEPs: UK must keep any new EU measures to help beekeeping sector, including bans on substances dangerous to bee health

Labour MEPs are set to vote today for a report calling for greater assistance to help the EU beekeeping sector, including financial assistance, training and research, and a EU-wide ban on dangerous substances used in pesticides that are killing bees.

Paul Brannen MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on agriculture, said:

“It is vital that Britain’s beekeepers get the support they need, and this report offers a range of solutions to help them – it would be a travesty if they fail to benefit from new EU assistance because of Brexit, and if harmful pesticides continue to be used to in UK.

“This report recognises the contribution of honey bees and many other wild pollinators, and their vital role in maintaining our food chain, ecosystems and biodiversity. Across Europe, 84 per cent of plant species and 76% of food production are dependent on pollination by bees. Increased mortality and the decline in honeybees and other wild pollinators will have a major impact on food security and production.

“The evidence is irrefutable – bees are vital. In Britain, bee populations have fallen by 30 per cent since 2007. Michael Gove keeps claiming our environmental standards would not be loosened as a result of leaving the EU, but the UK government’s actions belie a different picture – it has repeatedly ignored the evidence, fighting again and again against any EU bans on hazardous pesticides.

“British bees will sleep sounder in their hives if Gove and the Tories back up their words and back the ban.”