A new strategy has been launched to protect and safeguard the future of Scotland’s indigenous bee and butterfly populations.
Since 1980 the number of pollinating insects in Scotland - honey bees, bumble bees, the solitary bee, butterflies and hoverflies - has declined by around 51 per cent, leading to fears of a negative impact on agriculture, food security, the economy and human health.
The new 10-year Pollinator Strategy calls for the restoration and creation of flower-rich habitats; greater use of green urban infrastructures, such as roof top gardens; the development and use of pollinator friendly pest contro and new research into the impact of climate change on bee and butterfly numbers.
Launching the initiative at The Hidden Gardens in Glasgow, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that Scotland’s biodiversity is one of the country’s key assets.
She continued: “The contribution the humble bumble bee and other pollinators make to this wonderful environment should not be underestimated. That is why we are committed to making Scotland a more pollinator-friendly place.
“Pressures like land use change, pesticides, pollution, disease and climate change are threatening these life-giving insects, so we must act now to protect the pollinators and in turn safeguard our environment, our food and in turn our health.”
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has led the development of the Pollinator Strategy, working closely with a number of of environmental and land management organisations.
Mike Cantlay, SNH chairman, said: “Growing evidence shows our native bees and insects that carry out pollination are facing tough times.
“Pollination is crucial for our environment and, therefore, our own health, wealth and well-being. This strategy, a key part of the Scottish Biodiversity 2020 route map, sets out what needs to be done to ensure these bees and insects survive and thrive for generations to come, contributing to healthy ecosystems and landscapes in our country.
“We look forward to continuing this important work with our partners to strengthen the resilience of our native pollinator species.”