South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish has spoken out about the worrying decline in pollinator numbers in Scotland.
In a parliamentary debate last Thursday, the MSP highlighted a number of concerns, including the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which scientific evidence suggests are harmful to bee populations.
Speaking after the debate, she said: “I am glad the crucial issue of pollinator decline has been brought before the Scottish Parliament and I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak. This issue is of extreme importance not only to pollinator species themselves, but for the farmers who rely on them for crop production.”
“The EU imposed two year moratorium on three types of neonicotinoid pesticides was a welcome development, but there are no guarantees that this will still be in place after 2015. It is crucial that the scientific evidence base is further built up, so we are certain of the impact of these pesticides and that the Scottish Government consider a domestic ban.”
“However, there is a lot that can be done to improve pollinator numbers by members of the public. Whether people have a garden of their own, or even a window box, planting flowers and plants favoured by bees and other species can make a real difference in increasing numbers. I have planted a native hedgerow and wild flower mixtures in my own garden and seen many bees and other insects coming to them.”
“I am glad to say that there are a number of good examples of projects in Dumfries and Galloway that have played a key role in protecting pollinators. For example, the Mabie Forest in Dumfriesshire contains vibrant thistle fields, which are an ideal habitat for forester moths. It is natural environments like this that should be encouraged throughout Scotland.”