A climate crisis is a nature crisis. Animals and plants depend on predictable weather patterns, and bees and other insects are no exception. Extremes in temperature and rainfall, combined with devastating habitat loss has already impacted insect populations.
Global declines in insect biomass are estimated at 2.5% meaning a staggering quarter of all insect life is lost every 10 years –catastrophic news for the many complex food chains that so many insects are the foundation of.
This doesn’t just include mammals and birds that predate insects. Pollinators like bees, and even wasps and flies are crucial to the survival flowering plants – including much of our fruit and veg crops. Without them, we could face food crises with devastating impacts.
So what can we do?
Here in the UK, we must act fast to protect all our insects, especially key pollinators like bees. 17 species including the Great Yellow Bumblebee, the Potter Flower Bee and the Cliff Mason Bee are already regionally extinct, likely due to habitat loss and rising temperatures. To protect remaining species we need to halt and reverse both of those factors. That's where the CEE Bill comes in.
“We support the CEE Bill because we must compel our government to take action to solve the twin ecological and climate crises, and restore the rich, flower-filled habitats which store carbon and would allow our bumblebees to thrive again.”
Darryl Cox, Senior Science and Policy Officer
Bumblebee Conservation Trust
Bees, like many of our threatened species in the UK, need our help. But while as individuals we can all strive to provide the right habitats in our own gardens, it's changes in how we manage farmlands, public spaces, national parks and coastlines that will have the sweeping effects we need, and for that, we need new legislation.
Of course we also need to stop global heating in the UK, again, via an upgrade to our current climate laws, and luckily, scientists, including bumblebee expert Dave Goulson have drafted a Bill that tackles both issues; the CEE Bill's calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and "restoring and expanding natural and cultivated ecosystems, and enabling them to act as resilient carbon sinks and regenerative ecosystems.”,
But to get this bill passed into law - we need your help. Call on the government to pass the bill to protect pollinators like bumblebees via our petition:
As charismatic as they are, our bees provide an essential service, as statements from our allies Knepp Estate and New Foundation Farms show.
Acclaimed author and rewilder, Isabella Tree says "We desperately need to connect and heal our landscapes if our native species are to survive climate change, pollution and habitat loss. Wild bees are a litmus test. They do us such a service in terms of pollination and sheer joy. The CEE Bill must drive forward the habitat protection and nature regeneration wild bees and all species – including ourselves - so desperately need."
While New Foundation Farms, led by Marcus Link, add "Bees are vital pollinators and that they are under threat, it puts our food system directly under threat. As a regenerative agrifood enterprise, New Foundation Farms support the CEE Bill for the impact it could have in better protecting bees and indeed all of the biodiversity we need for a thriving environment and for healthy produce."
Join them all in demanding a change in our legislation to restore a UK landscape that bees can thrive in.