In a year, bees contribute a total of £651 million to the UK economy, which is £150 million more than that of the Royal Family through tourism. New figures show that bees compared to the monarchy contribute more to the British economy.
Researchers at the University of Reading estimated the overall value of the pollinators by examining the great significance of bees to the growth of food crops and the substantial contribution of these crops to the UK economy. The figures show that their overall economic value in 1996 and 2012 has an increase of 191 % from £220 to £651 million, respectively. The research also found that 85 and 45 % of apple and strawberry crops, respectively, in the UK rely on bees. In 2012, both crops contribute £200 million to Britain.
Currently, the government is reviewing whether to allow farmers to use the prohibited neonicotinoid pesticides which are believed to be causing colony decline. However, a petition organised by 38 Degrees, signed by more than 364,000 people, is calling for the attention of Environment Minister Liz Trust to veto farmers’ requests to use the pesticides on oilseed rape this summer. 38 Degrees campaigner Megan Bentall said, “These figures show that any decline in our bee population would rip through our rural economy. Hundreds of thousands of us are asking why the government is even considering allowing harmful pesticides back on British fields. We’re calling for Environment Minister Liz Truss and the government to keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides, with no exceptions. If we want future generations to be able to eat home-grown strawberries and Bramley apples, we have to keep bee-killing pesticides off our land.”