back to article Gov stumps £4.3m bee health funding

The environment secretary Hilary Benn today announced an extra £4.3m "to safeguard and undertake more research into the health of bees". The Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (Defra) explains: "Over the last two years Britain's bee colonies have suffered significant losses due to a combination of potential …


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  1. John

    Nationalise the beekeeping industry

    I can see the greedy glint in Darling's eyes.

    "All your bees are belong to us!"

  2. Neil

    Dr Who

    Didn't he already solve this one?

  3. Coalescence


    I don't get what the buzz is about?

  4. Rafael

    What? No Global Warming???

    Where are the greens this year?? Was Gore wrong?

    Bees should be helped to survive. They do more for us than Polar Bears.

  5. Richard Cain
    Thumb Up

    Before the usual nonsense ......

    ..... hits the comments, a serious note.

    This is long overdue. No pollinators = no food. Full stop. Apart from fish. And Brussels says we can't catch them any more.

  6. O

    Save the bees? You must be joking!

    France, Germany, Slovenia and several others countries in Europe have already banned the extraordinarily toxic class of pesticides which is killing off all the bees. The Commons Select Committees in the UK are stuffed with 'eminent' environmental experts (corporate shills) from, er .... biotech and agrichemical companies. They, unsurprisingly, boldy claim that pesticides have absolutely nothing to do with bee deaths. They do, and the class of neonicotinoid pesticides - even in miniscule quantities - are deadly to or seriously interfere with bees' normal funcion. Bayer are the main culprit, with 'clothianidin'.

    As usual, we lead the world in protecting vested corporate interests, and bring up the rear when it comes to environmental protection and safeguarding public health.

    This measure is simply a diversionary tactic.

  7. Andy ORourke

    So that's where......

    The grant money came from to study bee's behaviour when smacked off their tits

  8. Anonymous John

    "Gov stumps £4.3m bee health funding"

    Wouldn't it have been better to let Sarah write this story?

  9. David Edwards


    I am looking to set up hive in the Spring, can I have some free bees (and suit, smoker, hive etc).

    It is, after all, in the national interest and I can flog the honey at the car boot!

  10. Hedley Phillips

    About time

    Good news. Is this the first good thing this excuse for a government has done?

  11. Tim Bergel

    @Richard Cain

    I think you will find that bumblebees, butterflies, moths & flies are more than capable of keeping pollination running. Still needs sorting out though - I like honey.

  12. Tom Simnett

    Isn't this...

    ...more than they spend on Human health? 'Nuff said.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    who cares

    kill the bees

  14. Peyton

    Bee on bees?

    From a sort of blog post by Garbage lead Shirley Manson, commenting on some rainy weather:

    Stranger: Well must be happy!

    Me: (Knowing what is coming next and feeling hateful) Huh?

    Stranger: It's raining!!!!

    Me:Oh. Oh yeah. Right. ha.

    Stranger: (Very self-satisfied with joke) Yeah.....ha ha aha haaaa HAAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAA.Only Happy When it Rains , right?!?!? right? get-it?!?!??!?! HHHHHAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAA

    Me: (Strained Smile) ha

  15. ElFatbob


    Richard, i'm with you on this one, unfortunately, i think O has a point.

    We could be f€cked totally in around a decade.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the Moderatrix... poor health, then?

  17. Charles Manning


    In UK & Europe, bees probably get exposed to less agricultural pesticides than ever before but still get quite a dosing from gardeners.

    Bees are probably far more prone to loss of food.

    Bees thrive in highly diverse ecosystems which can provide food throughout the year. Agriculture prefers monocultures that generate sporadic bee food, if any at all. Feeding bees on sugar is no better for the bees than it is for humans.

    If farmers want bees to survive then they should keep some rough lands full of different plants to support the bees.

  18. Michael Wright
    Dead Vulture

    GBP 4.3 million well spent, probably

    This might seem droll, but actually 4 million is well worthwhile to keep bee populations up. As a very few posters have pointed out, bees are important for the pollination of some crops. Here in NZ, professional beekeepers make their money from hiring out the hives for pollination; the honey is only a little bit of jam on top, as it were.

    Yeah, yeah, Reg likes to have fun, but it would help to distinguish what is actually worthwhile from Govt support for the batshit stuff like "Alternative Medicine."

  19. Christopher Woods

    A good start

    A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to Farming Today on R4, one very early Tuesday morning.

    The plight of British bees in the UK was explained in the programme - and it's far more severe than I ever realised it was. Bees are either succumbing to a disease which infects more than 3/4 of all UK hives (carried by little bugs that get into the hives), or they're just being killed off by the European and American bees. Overall, the number of pollinating bees in the UK has been decreasing year on year for quite some time now.

    There was discussion in that issue of Darling being approached to provide funding for research into this to see if the trend can be reversed - I hope it can, and I'm more than happy for taxpayers' money to be put into this rather than something like a harebrained nationalised IT scheme for the NHS.

    Oh wait, what?

  20. Britt Johnston
    Thumb Up


    The bee approach to reproduction makes them susceptible to inbreeding - low resistance to disease and other changes is one result. English bees were long sought-after, but appear to have more problems surviving today.

    I've several friends who keep bees, good pragmatic people all,and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to get an understanding of his local ecosystem(s). It appears to be similar to bringing up children.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tim Bergel

    "I think you will find that bumblebees, butterflies, moths & flies are more than capable of keeping pollination running."

    I think you will find that bumblebees, butterflies, moths all face an uncertain future in this country. Certainly, bumblebees are on the decline due to destruction of natural habitat (they like to live in old dormouse burrows in hedgerows, or in hollows in trees).

    Perhaps a campagn for people to set up bumblebee nesting boxes in their gardens? Or insect habitat boxes?

    More likely we'll just demolish more of these creatures' natural habitats to make way for corporate industry.

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