Written Question on Flowers: Conservation

Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.


Date Title Questioner
18 Jul 2019, 4:38 p.m. Flowers: Conservation Mr Steve Baker

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the contribution of wildflower meadows to the success of the various bee populations in the UK.

Answer (Dr Thérèse Coffey)

Wildflowers provide pollen and nectar resources essential for sustaining wild and honey bees. Wildflower meadows therefore provide vital habitats for bee populations.

Published scientific research has established that range contractions in many of our bee species are linked to the loss of species-rich habitats such as wildflower meadows. It also found that bee populations are more diverse on farms where wildflowers are sown or in landscapes with greater densities of wildflower meadows and other species-rich habitats.

We also know that when we put wildflowers back, bees respond. Landscape-scale studies of wild bumblebee populations in farmed landscapes, led by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and part-funded by Defra, revealed that providing flower-rich habitat enhances the long-term survival of bumblebee families.

Through our programme of agri-environment monitoring, we are currently evaluating how sowing wildflowers on farms is supporting bee populations.


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