Tuesday 21 April
Buglife welcomes the new initiative, launched today, to increase research funding into the decline of bees and other insect pollinators.
Insect pollinators such as honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies and hoverflies are thought to contribute to one in every three mouthfuls of the food that we eat. The free services provided by these hard-working insects also contributes millions of pounds to our economy every year.
The beautiful Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) is
officially recognised as in need of urgent conservation action.
© Sam Ashfield
However, due to loss of the habitat these insects depend on, and increased pesticide use, populations of wild pollinators in the UK have suffered drastic declines and urgent action is needed to save them. Increasing the funding available to research will go some way to addressing this, however more funding is also needed for conservation action on the ground.
It's not just honeybees that pollinate our crops, other insects such as flies are also
Marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus bateatus) © Roger Key
Buglife are helping to put the buzz back into the British countryside, through working with landowners to restore hundreds of hectares of bee-friendly habitat. Our new 'Stepping Stones for Wildlife' project will help to make a difference to the future of species such as the Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum) in one of its last strongholds in the Thames Estuary, where much of its habitat is on brownfield sites earmarked for new development. More funding is needed for projects such as this to make our countryside a less hostile place for our wild pollinators.
|Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum) © Peter Harvey|
For further information from Defra on the funding announced today for research into declines in pollinators click here
Why else are bugs important?
Bugs truly are the small things that run the world! There are many reasons why Buglife is working to conserve invertebrates, for more information click here