The NFU have produced a leaflet giving advice to farmers on Farming for Bees. Download the leaflet here.
Helping pollinators on your farm:
There are three important actions that you can take to help pollinators:
Provide habitats and food for wild insect pollinators
Provide sites for honeybees
Take care when using insecticides
For more information please see the NFU Farming for Bees leaflet or find out how to Help Pollinators on Your Farm.
The UK has around 267 species of bee. This range of species, together with their exclusive diet of pollen and nectar, means bees are seen as the main pollinators of most of our wildflowers and insect pollinated crops.
Bee populations in the UK and many other countries throughout the world have declined. It is widely acknowledged that there are many factors challenging bee health, including pests and diseases, loss of habitats, changing climate, invasive species and the chemicals bees encounter in their environment, like pesticides.
The pollination services provided by bees:
improve the look of landscapes, gardens or parks
maintain and spread populations of insect-pollinated plants that provide
food, shelter and resources to other wildlife.
are vital to the production of many horticultural and agricultural crops in the UK.
Agricultural pollination by bees is valued at £510m per year.
There is growing evidence that managed pollinators like honeybees are only able to supplement, rather than replace, the vital pollination performed by a diversity of wild insect pollinators such as bumblebees.
The Campaign for the Farmed Environment promotes Voluntary Measures that you can implement on your farm, many of which will provide food and shelter for bees and other pollinators. More information is here.
There is also some good news about pollinators. Since the 1990s, rates of biodiversity loss of wild plants and their insect pollinators have slowed down in north-west Europe, according to a recent study. It is likely that conservation activities, such as agri-environmental schemes, have contributed to this improving situation. More information can be found here.
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