Bid to get Norwich buzzing - by doing more to attract bees

Norwich could become more buzzing than usual, as part of an attempt to stem the decline of the bee.

The number of honey bees in the UK has halved in the past 25 years, while the numbers of bumblebees has fallen by around 60pc since 1970.

The insects play a key role in pollination, with the commercial value of bees' pollination estimated at �200m per year in the UK.

Scientists fear that could put plants at risk and some studies have suggested reduced plant diversity is contributing to the decline.

But Norwich City Council has been urged to do its bit to save the bee, after the Green party put forward a motion asking the council to use plants in the city which support the bees and other insects.


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Amy Stammers, Green councillor for Mancroft ward, said: 'Bees and other pollinators are crucial because plants would not be able to reproduce without them.

'Many animals, including humans rely on plants for food, and as bee populations decline, our food sources become more precarious.

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'It has been said that a third of the food people eat, worldwide, wouldn't exist without bee pollination.'

She said other councils, including Newcastle, Sheffield and Harrogate have helped local bee populations by creating biologically diverse landscapes which provide bees, butterflies and insects with suitable habitat.

Fellow Green councillor Bob Gledhill, who represents Nelson ward, said: 'In 2010, a decline in pollinating insects in India led to reduced vegetable yields. This is not a situation we want to see occurring in Norfolk.'

The council agreed that it would adopt a policy of planting plants and flowers which support pollination and encourage biodiversity where appropriate.

It was also agreed that the council's policy would also look to use drought resistant plants where possible.

However, council leader Brenda Arthur stressed the authority was already doing many of the things the Greens motion was asking for.

• Do you think it's a good idea to do more to save the bee? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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