Many of us seldom appreciate how important insects actually are in the grand scale of things. In that regard, did you know that bees actually contribute more to the British economy than the royal family does through tourism? £150 million more.
How did researchers from the University of Reading come to this figure? They looked at how much food crops depend on bees then judged how much those crops contributed to the UK’s economy.
After some number crunching, they discovered that bees actually contribute a whopping £651 million. Further analysis shows that their value has increased since 1991, when they were only worth £220 million. That’s a staggering 191% increase!
Bees are also responsible for 85% of apple crops growth and 45% of strawberry crop growth. These crops alone brought £220 million to Britain last year.
Why the sudden interest in bees? Farmers in the UK have been requesting for the lift on neonicotinoid pesticides, a pesticide class that’s known to negatively affect bee populations.
According to Megan Bentall, one of the campaigners “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.”