31 March 2010

Women's institute gets busy with bee SOS campaign

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Forget Jam and Jerusalem, the Women's Institute is urging people to turn to honey in a campaign to save our native honeybees from extinction

The WI's 200,000 members want the Government, local authorities and gardeners to join their Bee SOS campaign. Hive numbers have dropped from over a million a century ago to just 250,000 today - twice the rate of decline as the rest of Europe.

British honeybees provide 5,000 tonnes of honey a year and their pollination of fruit, trees and crops is worth £165million. Diseases, pesticides and poor hive management have been blamed for the puzzling decline. Defra now has a 10-year Healthy Bees Plan.

Wi members are being urged to attend bee-inspired coffee mornings and cocktail parties. A committee will also quiz Agriculture Minister Bryan Davies today at a conference being held in Oxfordshire.

(mirror.co.uk)

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