• Honeybees contribute £651 million to the UK economy a year with 2% of bee species providing 80% of the crop pollination. However, honeybee colonies have slumped in the UK from 250,000 in the 1950s to fewer than 100,000 today – Read Article
  • In the past 100 years there has been around a 75% decrease in the number of bee hives across Britain and 85% of these hives are managed by amateur beekeepers – Read Article
  • Flying insect abundance has fallen by 76% over the last 27 years in nature reserves across Germany – Read Article

  • Noticeable decline in distribution of wild bees since 2007

Read Article

Other interesting articles

  • “Occurrence of ‘moth snowstorm’ and ‘windscreen effect’ has gone due to three generations of industrialised farming with a vast tide of poisons pouring over the land year after year.” (Michael McCarthy, Environmental Journalist) – Read Article
  • “This year I tried to find some caterpillars for my children to raise. I spent the whole summer looking and aside from the cabbage whites on our broccoli plants, found nothing in the wild but one garden tiger larva. Yes, one caterpillar in one year. I could scarcely believe what I was seeing – or rather, not seeing” (George Monbiot, Writer and Environmental activist) – Read Article
  • 13,330 ha of pear trees are pollinated by hand in the Hanyuan County, China. This is roughly equivalent to 20,000 football pitches – Read Article

  • The overall number of moths has decreased by 28% since 1968, this is particularly bad in southern Britain where moth numbers are down by 40%. Over 60 species became extinct in the 20th centuryRead Article
  • The neonicotinoid, thiamethoxam, reduces egg development in queen bumblebees – Read Article

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  • “The Essex skipper declined by 67% between 2000 and 2009 and the small skipper declined by 62% in the same period. Both species’ caterpillars live on grasses found on field margins. Other common farmland butterflies to have suffered steep declines include the small tortoiseshell (64%), the wall brown (37%) and the large skipper (35%)” (Patrick Barkham, Natural History Writer) – Read Article
  • 1/3 of hoverfly species have declined by 66% since the 1970s.
    6 of the 25 bumblebee species have declined by 80% in the last 50 years.
    71% of British butterfly species are in decline – Read Article
  • 75% of moth species have decline by more than 70% in the last 35 years – Read Article

Reference List

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  • 45% of the agricultural land in Europe contains glyphosate (Roundup) which affects bees’ navigation ability and impairs foraging efficiency – Read Article
  • It is estimated that total pesticide use could be reduced by 42% without any negative effects on both productivity and profitability in 59% of farms from a study of 946 arable farms in France – Read Article
  • Of 29 ‘bee friendly’ flowers from 4 different companies (B&Q, Aldi, Homebase, Wyevale) and one local nursery, all but 2 were contaminated with pesticides and more than 70% contained neonicotinoid chemicals. Some flowers contained a mixture of 10 chemicals – Read Article
  • Over 8 million hectares of arable crops follow this ‘chemical recipe’ every year: 6 insecticides, 3 herbicides and 9 fungicides. This combination deforms and kills wildlife but is encouraged throughout the UK – Read Article
  • Pesticide use on arable farms has increased by 29% in the past 6 years – Read Article
  • The total area of cropland treated with pesticides has increased by 78% in the past 25 years – Read Article

  • Arable crops are typically sprayed 6 times a year using 12 different products and 17 different active substancesRead Article

  • Fungicides reduce bees’ immune response and affect their gut microbiome. They also kill gut cells and allow the honeybee version of Nosema (pathogen) to proliferate – Read Article
  • Neonicotinoid pesticides target the bees brain and nervous system thus making them learn slower and forget floral scents. They can kill bees directly, especially if the bees are on the flowers at time of application – Read Article
  • The majority of molluscicides (i) and ‘oilseed rape’ herbicides (ii) are applied to arable farms in the East and South East of England – Read Article

(i)                         (ii)

  • Mixing a fungicide with an insecticide can be 16 times more toxic to bees than the insecticide itself – Read Article
  • 75% of global honey samples tested contained traces of pesticides toxic to bees and half of these samples contained a ‘cocktail’ of chemicals. 1/3 of this honey contained a dose that would be lethal to beesRead Article
  • UK apples are covered by 37 different pesticidesRead Article

  • 27% of all fruit and vegetables contain a cocktail of pesticides. In 2007, almost 30 different pesticides were found on one sample of fruit and veg – Read Article