Honey Bees

17 April 2009

Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP has received answers to Parliamentary Questions on decline of Honey Bees.

Mr Peacock said: "The decline amongst honey bees in certain parts of the Highlands and Islands has been dramatic.

"As bees play a major role in pollinating plants and food crops this should be of concern to everyone.

"I have previously met with bee keepers and the representative of the Scottish Beekeepers Association and am aware the decline in bee numbers has been particularly severe in the last few years.

"The affect of the Varroa mite, which attacks the bees larva and the recent poor summers have been linked to the decline.

"My parliamentary questions were designed to clarify what steps the Scottish Government was taking to address the decline in Honey Bee numbers and safeguard their future.

"The Scottish Government claim their Honey Bee Health Strategy is at an advanced stage of planning and I look forward to seeing the final document.

"It is essential that Biosecurity is improved to prevent the spread of Varroa Virus, particularly to areas such as Colinsay where the virus is presently not found.

Mr Peacock added: "Whatever the outcome of the bee health strategy, it is vital that appropriate funding from the Scottish Government is put in place to ensure the Honey Bee Health Strategy is implemented effectively."

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