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Action plan for pollinators

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Bees play an important role in the sustainability of the countryside.
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This plan aims to reduce, and reverse, the decline in wild and managed pollinator populations. Pollinators include bees, some wasps, butterflies, moths and hoverflies, some beetles and flies.

Pollinators are an essential part of our environment. Honeybees are the main managed pollinator of crops and also provide a crop (honey) themselves.

Wild pollinators, which include bumblebees and butterflies, are also important pollinators for crops like fruit and oil seed rape, for clovers, which help to improve pastures for livestock grazing and wild flowers. They contribute to the diversity of plant species, habitats and wildlife. This provides food, makes Wales a better place for people to enjoy and visit and contributes to our economy.

Why is pollination important

Pollination is a very important service. Twenty percent of the UK cropped area contains crops which are dependent on pollinators and the value of pollinators to UK agriculture is over £690 million per year. A lot of wild flowering plants also rely on insect pollination for reproduction. 

What is the problem

The National Ecosystem Assessment carried out in 2011 showed that both managed pollinators (honey bees) and wild pollinators (such as bumblebees and butterflies) have been declining for 30 years. It is likely that this will continue if we don’t act now.

What we are doing

In 2013, the Action Plan for Pollinators (APP) was developed with the public and private sectors. It helps us identify how we might slow and reverse the decline in pollinator numbers.

To achieve the objectives in our APP, we have set up a Pollinators Taskforce (external link). The taskforce brings together organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors in Wales.

In 2018, our APP was updated by members of the Pollinator Task Force. The overall aim of the APP remains relevant however a review to update the actions was needed to reflect:

  • the Bee Friendly initiative
  • the UK National Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
  • bee health policy which takes into account the risks from an Asian Hornet outbreak
  • the ongoing and new work by APP Task Force members
  • new requirements arising from the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.

Further information on managing farmland for pollinators can be downloaded on a fact sheet from Farming Connect (external link).

Wales Biodiversity Partnership (external link).