A staggering £651 million is contributed by bees to the UK economy annually, bringing more than £150 million than the British monarchy brings in through tourism, new statistics reveal.
University of Reading researchers estimated the bee’s value by scrutinizing how food crops rely on these pollinators to propagate, and how much the UK economy benefits from the sale of these crops.
Their overall economic value rendered a 191 percent increased, from £220 million in 1996 to £651 million in 2012.
85% of the UK’s apple crop and 45% of the strawberry crop relies on bees to grow, raking in £200 million to Britain’s coffers in 2012, the researchers discovered.
Presently, the British government is reviewing whether to lift the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, which is forbidden to be used by farmers for fear it will cause colony decline.
In a signed petition organized by 38 Degrees, more than 364,000 people have called for Environment Minister Liz Trust to refuse the requests of farmers to use the pesticides on oilseed rape this summer.
Megan Bentall, a 38 Degrees advocate 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.”
She added, “We’re calling for Environment Minister Liz Truss and the government to keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides, with no exceptions.”
Before ending, “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.”