Beekeepers and their supporters gathered in Parliament Square today to urge the Government to support an EU-wide ban on certain pesticides.
The demonstration comes ahead of a vote in Brussels on Monday which will decide whether Europe introduces a two-year moratorium on various neonicotinoid pesticides.
One of the organisers Matt Shardlow, chief executive of nature conservation organisation Buglife, said:
British bee farmers say numbers within some colonies have slumped by as much as 50% because of the long winter and last summer's wet weather.
ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports:
Beekeepers dressed in their protective costumes for the protest and many protesters wore brightly coloured striped clothing.
Other organisers involved with organising the event included Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network UK, RSPB, and the Soil Association.
Fashion designers Dame Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett also backed the campaign, handing a petition at 10 Downing Street in support of their aims.
Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns Andrew Pendleton said that Ministers could not ignore the "growing scientific evidence" linking the pesticides to bee decline. He added:
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs later commented:
The petition handed to 10 Downing Street was signed by 2.6 million people, including 600,000 in the UK, campaign organisation Avaaz said.
A spokesman for the organisation said that Britain is one of the few countries in Europe likely either to abstain or vote no on Monday when key officials meet to decide whether they will agree to the moratorium.
France, Spain and Italy are likely to back the ban and of the major countries, only Britain and Germany are expected to raise opposition to it.