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EU votes to ban all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid pesticides

Earlier today the Member States of the European Union voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to further restrict the use of the neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Since 2013, in response to concerns about their unintended effects on bees, these insecticides were partially restricted so that they could not be used on flowering crops and horticultural plants deemed attractive to pollinators, while evidence as to whether or not they were safe was gathered. At the end of February, the European Food Safety Authority published its conclusions after reviewing all of the evidence, confirming the risk these pesticides pose to bees. In light of the evidence and the majority backing, the European Commission will adopt new regulations preventing them from being used on all outdoor crops and horticultural plants in the coming week.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust CEO, Gill Perkins said “Today is a landmark day, the members of the European Union, including the UK Government, have backed the science and voted to remove the risk of exposing bees and other wildlife to this set of harmful contaminants. It is not however, the end of the road when it comes to solving the issues of bee declines. There is much work to be done and it would be fantastic to see the same level of resources and scientific study being poured into the other issues that bees face. For example, we desperately need to further our understanding of the role parasites and diseases have in bee declines, particularly those that are found to be imported with commercial bees.”

Beeware! ‘Bee-friendly’ garden plants can contain bee-harming chemicals

by Katy Malone, Conservation Officer (Scotland)

It’s early spring here in the Highlands. Despite the continuing flurries of snow, snowdrops have pushed their way out of the iron-hard soil and are waiting for those early rays of sunshine to allow them to open up into their classic nodding shape. I was thrilled to hear my first song thrush of the year this morning – he must know that spring is waiting around the corner and was warming up his fine voice. I love to walk around the garden at this time of year to see the first leaves breaking, the first flowers, and of course, the first bumblebees!

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New Pollinator Strategy for Scotland Published

The Scottish Government has published a 10 year strategy plan to reverse the decline of pollinating insects. The plan which was created by Scottish Natural Heritage, with the help of key environmental organisations, including Bumblebee Conservation Trust, sets out five essential objectives to address the causes of decline in pollinating insects and ensure that they are able to thrive in the future.

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Campaigns to change wildlife legislation in the UK

Wildlife charities across the UK are fighting to protect native species from the bumblebee to hedgehogs. Many charities & organisations are seeking to protect them by law. Law Absolute takes a look at recent campaigns to change UK wildlife legislation here.

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The Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s reaction to the EU referendum results – ‘Business as usual’

On 23 June, the UK’s population voted to leave the European Union.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust believes that working together on common policies across the Member States is essential to ensure nature thrives and cross border co-operation continues, as we fulfil our vision of providing flower-rich habitats and raising awareness of the importance the bumblebee has on our economy here and the EU. Our conservation and data collection is funded by our members and supporters almost entirely from UK sources.

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Bumblebee Conservation Trust welcomes the launch of the National Pollinator Strategy for England

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) welcomes the launch today of the National Pollinator Strategy for England having spent many months working closely with Defra, Friends of the Earth, researchers, scientists and other NGOs on its development.

Lucy Rothstein, Chief Executive of Bumblebee Conservation Trust comments: “The Government’s National Pollinator Strategy highlights the need to improve and increase habitat for vital pollinators such as bumblebees. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is set to play an important role working with more landowners, local authorities, businesses and the general public to create areas for our pollinators to live and feed. We fully support the Government’s call for action and urge people to get involved”.

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