Yesterday, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group for Bees to support beekeepers and honey producers in Delyn.
The event allowed me to meet with two beekeeping apprentices to discuss the future of the industry and the best ways to ensure that it goes from strength to strength. But another reason for attending this parliamentary reception was to show his commitment to hold the Government to account on neonicotinoids.
Neonicotinoids are a relatively new type of insecticide, used in the last 20 years to control a variety of pests, especially sap-feeding insects, such as aphids on cereals, and root-feeding grubs.
Neonics are systemic pesticides. Unlike contact pesticides, which remain on the surface of the treated foliage, systemics are taken up by the plant and transported to all the tissues (leaves, roots and stems, as well as pollen and nectar).
I have received hundreds of emails and letters from constituents concerned about the impact of neonicotinoids on the bee population. I have kept pressuring the Government with letters asking what action they are taking to mitigate the impact of this new pesticide on our vitally important bee population.
The Government has recently tightened its controls on neonicotinoids, but it is important that pressure is upheld and attending this week’s parliamentary reception is just one further way of doing so.
Meeting the two beekeeping apprentices I learnt of the struggles facing the industry. The decline in bee populations has been devastating and if action is not taken now it will have terrible results for agriculture.
I have been pressuring the Government on the use of neonicotinoids and attending this reception allowed me to meet with the producers of honey and natural beeswax to better understand what more can be done.
In Delyn we have many people who keep bees as a hobby or as a small business. Not only do they get great enjoyment through being an apiarists, but they also help us maintain a strong ecology.