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This year I once again had the pleasure of joining the Sutton Coldfield’s Beekeepers at their annual summer barbecue in Royal Sutton Park. It was a well-attended and most enjoyable occasion attended by skilled beekeepers and friends from across Royal Sutton Coldfield.

If you had strolled past my office the next day you might have been surprised, and even a little concerned, to be accosted by a human-sized bee, antennas and all. This slightly disconcerting sight was all in aid of the Friends of the Earth’s “The Bee Cause”.

A number of local bee aficionados from the Birmingham Branch of Friends of the Earth, the Friends of Royal Sutton Park Association, Eco-Sutton and Sutton Coldfield Bee-keepers Association came to visit me to explain the work they are doing to reverse the decline of Britain’s bee population as bees are crucial to our farmers, food security and the economy.

I know from the correspondence I receive from my constituents that this is an issue of some local interest and concern.

I have taken the issue up with the new Minister responsible for the National Pollinator Strategy outlining the views and concerns that have been expressed to me by my constituents, who feel strongly about this.

However, the Government response is only part of the solution to tackling the problem of the declining number of bees, which is why I was pleased to learn about the work being undertaken by Friends of the Earth and local beekeepers in Royal Sutton Coldfield to raise awareness of the plight of bees, and to show people what we can all do to help in tackling this issue; such as planting bee-friendly wildflowers in your garden.

Joining Sutton’s beekeepers is always a pleasure and an informative occasion. It is interesting to note also that beekeeping is an important activity in the developing world, which Britain has been able to encourage and support. There are many parts of the developing world where keeping bees and selling honey is an important source of income which puts food into the mouths of children and families who are at the margins of subsistence. So the importance of beekeeping is an international as well as a national issue.

For more information on how you can become involved and support this worthy cause, please visit https://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/bee_cause_donate_get_bee_saver_kit_3941...

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