1. ITV Report

Bees under threat from wet summer

Bees under threat from wet summer Photo: PA

The West Country's bee population is under threat from the effects of the wet summer.

The government's National Bee Unit has advised beekeepers of a starvation risk and is encouraging them to leave out emergency supplies of sugar and syrup.

Ivan Callanan is a beekeeper at Bereio Mill in Callington and his honey production is down by as much as 50%. This is having a negative impact on his business as he is having to buy in honey to mix with his mustard products.

Ivan Callanan Credit: ITV Westcountry

Last winter colony numbers in England also fell by 16.2%. If numbers continue to dwindle it could have a huge impact on the wider food chain.

Staple crops that bees feed on such as fruit blossom have been damaged by heavy rainfall in May and June.

Persistent rain can also prevent honey bees from being able to fly.

Honey bees are important pollinators and we rely heavily on them for much of the food that is on our plate in one way or another. All sorts of crops are pollinated by honey bees, including fruit and many vegetables.

– British Beekeepers Association