Huffpost Green

UK Scientists Get 8m for Research Into Bee Decline

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On 21 April, the UK government announced that $10m will be spent on research for pollinators - bees, butterflies and other insects - to see if the decline in UK populations can be halted. The government is contributing $2m with the rest coming from the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the Scottish Government. Certainly the bee hives in Reigate in Surrey are humming with activity early in the morning, despite the chilly start, on what is promised to be a clear, crisp spring day. Indeed, many traditional orchards still have several hives, shaded by the dappled sunlight of the fruit-laden branches that the bees helped create. 1

The new funding is in addition to the $2m announced earlier this year by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to help bee research. The funding increase marks a significant rise in government spending on bee health, which previously amounted to $1.2m annually in the UK, with the vast majority spent on bee inspectors. Bee numbers in the UK have fallen 15-30% in the last two years, mirroring steep declines and empty hives witnessed in the US, mainland Europe and elsewhere. 2
  1. All the Buzz (BBC)
  2. UK Scientists Get 8m for Research Into Bee Decline (The Guardian)

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