Beekeeper’s Downing St protest over the death of honey bees; more research urgently needed.

Approximately 90,000 of the 274,000 hives in the UK, each containing around 20,000 bees and worth some £600 a year to the economy, did not survive last year’s winter. Yes that’s a third of UK hives.

Beekeepers Demonstration and Mass Lobby @ Westminster 5th November 2008, organised by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA)

The protest went off well in that the BBKA got some news coverage. It was a grey and drizzly day unfortunately but some good photos were taken;


Photographers obviously enjoyed the smokers;

image: AP

More images

 The Facts

  • Honey bees contribute £165 million per annum to the agricultural economy.
  • The Government spends just £200,000 per annum on bee health research.
  • The varroa mite is destroying bee colonies and is resistant to most approved medications.
  • Foul brood diseases are ever present and require constant monitoring and control.
  • New exotic threats such as the small hive beetle are expected in the UK anytime.
  • Colony Collapse Disorder responsible for massive losses in the USA may emerge here.
  • We don’t know enough about bee disease control and the medicines available are inadequate.

What do we want

  • The Government to invest just £1.6 million per annum in research to help find solutions.

More background information

This entry was posted in Business, Disease, Food & Agriculture, London, Nature & Conservation, Politics, Protest, Rural communities, Sustainablity, UK, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Beekeeper’s Downing St protest over the death of honey bees; more research urgently needed.

  1. John Ashby says:

    It would have been nice if they asked the government for subsidised bee equipment as well, if our overheads keep going up, it won’t be worth us keeping bees.

  2. matt says:

    Why is it that this country relies so much on volunteers to make things happen? Are there many ‘professional’ beekeepers out there getting paid to keep healthy hives/transport them to orchards etc, as is done in the states?

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