Rasen MP’s fight to save country’s bee colonies

Market Rasen MP Edward Leigh has said he will fight to save bees after the area’s bee keepers raised concerns about dwindling colonies.

Mr Leigh is fighting to ensure the importance of bees for our environment and our economy is not forgotten.

This comes after bee keepers around the area wrote to Mr Leigh to express their concerns.

Mr Leigh said respected scientific research has shown that certain pesticides are having a detrimental effect on bee colonies.

But he says the government in this country - unlike Italy and France - has taken no action to ban people from using them.

He said: “I know that there are dozens of bee keepers in my constituency who are worried about the dwindling size of bee colonies.

“In the past week I have received umpteen letters and e-mails about this topic.

“Bees not only produce delicious honey, but they are vital in the environment and consequently the economy because of their role in pollination.”

Middle Rasen resident Bill Needham, 81, has been a bee keeper since he was ten years old - and he is highly concerned about the problem.

He said: “Last year was terrible for them.

“They didn’t breed like they should have done.

“I’ve lost a lot. I’ve fed them well but that doesn’t always work.

“The weather hasn’t been very good and if they get a disease you just lose them.

“But that’s just one of them things.”

Mr Needham - who says there are now a lot more people keeping bees - said he is concerned because bees are needed for pollination.

Mr Leigh has written to the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

He has pointed out that some 39 commercial crops rely on pollination - and this is worth an estimated £200 million per year.

He then went on to ask what work DEFRA was doing to identify the pesticides having the biggest impact in local eco-systems around the United Kingdom.

Mr Leigh wants to know what action DEFRA will be taking to combat the ongoingproblems.

Back in 2009, the public accounts committee, under Mr Leigh’s leadership, produced a review into how DEFRA was using resources to tackle this ongoing concerrn.

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