I know Friends of the Earth have done a lot of good work to draw attention to the need to protect bees. Friends of the Earth welcomed the Strategy as "a major step towards protecting the nation's bees". The Department for the Environment have said that they look forward to working with the group on its implementation and working to better protect out bee population.
A major element of the Strategy is a plan to improve our understanding of the abundance, diversity and role of pollinators, and to identify any further necessary actions. While I welcome the Government's work over the last few years to understand and protect pollinators, there are still some gaps in our understanding of these issues. The Plan outlines steps to address this situation will allow Friends of the Earth's views to be taken on board.
However, the Government is clear that we must take action promptly. Immediate actions the plan describes include some significant advances over the draft version, such as the wild pollinator and farm wildlife package, raising the profile of existing initiatives to conserve and create good quality wild flower meadows, and minimising risks from pesticides. The Department for Communities and Local Government has agreed to integrate the Bees' Needs advice into its Planning Guidance and work is ongoing on finding alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides.