An extra £10m of new funding is being poured into researching the threats faced by Britain’s bees and other insect pollinators, the Government has announced.
Over the last two years, 15% of honeybees have died out, while the numbers of other pollinators – like butterflies and moths – have also declined.
The insects play an essential role in putting food on our tables through the pollination of vital crops – honeybees alone are worth £200m a year to the UK’s economy.
But they are susceptible to a variety of diseases and environmental threats, some of which have increased significantly over the last five to 10 years.
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Government experts say climate change, in particular warmer winters and wetter summers, has also had a major impact on pollinators.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said: “Aristotle identified bees as the most hard-working of insects, and with one in three mouthfuls coming from insect-pollinated crops, we need to support bees and other pollinators.