23 April 1998
Cash to save bees from bloodsucker

ELLIOT MORLEY, agriculture minister, announced plans for a £400,000 project to find ways to destroy the blood-sucking varroa mite, which is said to be threatening the honey bee to the point of extinction.

Archie Norman, a Tory vice-chairman and chairman of Asda, warned MPs of partial extinction of honey bees in the UK unless action was taken.

Regulations meant there was only one pesticide beekeepers could use to destroy the mite, and experts predicted the mite would build up a resistance within a few years.

Norman said the honey bee was vital for the £13m honey industry and the pollination of crops worth up to £7bn.

  • The Daily Telegraph 23/04/98 page 13