Urgent 'save the bees' plea from West Country farmers

The charity Bug Life wants the everyone to help build the 'Bee Road' - a network of pollinator pit stops. Credit: ITV News

Farmers across the West Country are calling for urgent action to save the bee population, before we lose some of our most loved fruits and vegetables.

The charity Bug Life says a third of all food we eat relies on the pollinators. Without them them fruits like strawberries, apples and pears could become extinct within 25 years.

Farmers are also urging the public to help by creating space in their gardens for bee friendly flowers to grow and help pollination.

Weymouth dairy farmer William Holmes makes sure his farm is 'bee-friendly' and he wants others to do the same.

Beekeeper Paula Gardner lost half of her colonies during the long, wet winter. She said: "Even if you have one flower pot, you can go to the garden centres and ask for plants that will be pollinator friendly. They will help you. There are lots of plants out there - the list is very long."

Bug Life says the number of bees in the UK is declining because of a loss of habitat, increase in pesticides and disease.

To combat this, the dairy company Arla has teamed up with Bug Life. They want everyone to support the pollinator patches on farms and in gardens by planting bee-friendly plants, named a 'Bee Road'.

Dr Beth Nicholls, a research fellow, said: "I think it's a fantastic idea. People's gardens and allotments are a fantastic resource and habitat for pollinators. So if we can get everyone to create a small patch of wild flowers in their garden, then we can get a joined up habitat for pollinators."

The joint initiative hopes the 'Bee Road' will allow everyone to "be part of the solution" and help "save biodiversity and the foods we love".

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