Thank you for contacting me about the protection of bees and pollinators in South Derbyshire.
I would like to reassure you that this issue remains a priority for the Government. Pollinators are an essential part of our environment and play a crucial role in food production through pollination. I am pleased that the National Pollinator Strategy sets out actions ministers are taking to improve the status of bees and other pollinators in England on farmland and other areas.
I know that these actions include restoring and creating habitat for bees and other wild and managed pollinators to thrive; acting on the pressures that impact on pollinators, including by supporting Integrated Pest Management; providing advice and raising awareness across society so that they can take action themselves; and supporting new monitoring and research. Further, the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 sets out additional action to improve honeybee health, alongside beekeeping associations and other interested parties.
Now that we have left the EU and the Transition Period has ended, I am pleased that ministers will continue to ensure that decisions on the use of pesticides are based on careful scientific assessment of the risks, with the aim of achieving a high level of protection for people and the environment. I am assured that pesticides that pose unacceptable risks, including to pollinators, are not authorised. Ministers have also just consulted on the revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and are analysing the responses. The draft plan lays out how they intend to support the uptake of integrated pest management, and how they can further minimise risks to pollinators. I understand that the summary of responses to this consultation will be published shortly and the revised Plan later this year.
It is also encouraging that the UK is moving to an ambitious new agricultural system which will reward farmers and land managers for the work they do to look after and enhance our environment. This will encourage actions that support Integrated Pest Management, as well as those that conserve and enhance habitats for bees and other pollinators. Finally, the Government has introduced a national pollinator monitoring scheme with trend estimates published annually, and advice and guidance is also provided to landowners and the public through the Bees’ Needs campaign.
I will continue to advocate for the best protection of bees in South Derbyshire, as well as standing up for our farmers.