Scotland bee first

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The Scottish Government’s attention to bee decline (“Scottish bee deaths double in a single year”, 6 June) is to be commended.

But its report focusing on the impact of recent weather captures only part of the picture.

Top scientists and even the UK government accept that as well as honey bees, our 250-plus species of wild bees are under threat from many directions. The plight of the great yellow bumblebee in Scotland is ­highlighted in Reading ­University’s recent report.

Our changing weather is ­having an impact, but so too is the way we build, farm and ­manage land.

The impact of massive ­habitat loss and intensive farming ­techniques – including the use of neonicotinoid pesticides – are the larger factors in the health of these vital pollinating insects.

We are now noticing the ­triple-whammy effect of weather, disease and toxic chemicals creating the perfect storm for wiping out bee colonies.

That is why more than 200 Westminster MPs, high street names such as the Co-operative and B&Q and more than 80,000 people have called on the UK Government for a Bee Action Plan. Holyrood has the power to do this so Scottish ministers should act now while Westminster ­prevaricates.

Paul de Zylva

Friends of the Earth 
England Wales and Northern Ireland

(Dr) Richard Dixon

Friends of the Earth 
Scotland

(Dr) Maggie Keegan

Scottish Wildlife Trust