Launch event at Houses of Parliament gives flight to our Bee Campaign
Mar 26, 2013

Launch event at Houses of Parliament gives flight to our Bee Campaign

By EJF Staff

EJF and PAN UK's joint campaign to protect the UK's bees got off to a flying start with a well-attended event at the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 21st March 2013, hosted by Sir Bob Russell MP.

Beginning with a live performance of The Flight of the Bumblebee by violinist Oliver Lewis, who holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest ever performance of this piece, the event featured an impassioned speech by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott, who explained how his interest in bees was sparked by his experience championing honey for the recent Great British Food Revival.

Ian Bowles, Head of Sustainability at Premier Foods, the UK's largest branded food producer, provided an important industry perspective on the commercial importance of bees to the UK economy.

Katharine Hamnett CBE, the renowned fashion designer widely recognised as the queen of ethical fashion, urged everyone to use their power as constiuents by putting pressure on decision makers to take action to protect bees and pollinators.

The real stars were the children of Charlton Manor Primary School, who stole the show with the story of how the school installed their own beehives and learned how to keep bees and grow bee-friendly plants. Two of the boys donned full beekeepers suits to add to the occasion.

The importance of bees and other pollinators was not only evident in the speeches but throughout the entire Terrace Pavilion, as internationaly renowned florist McQueens revealed a floral display illustrating the beauty of bee-friendly plants. Fresh fruits and vegetables from Daylesford Organic Food and Abel & Cole decorated the room.

The creative power of bees was illustrated by fantastic advertising creatives from Creature London, which were displayed throughout the venue, along with the new bespoke t-shirt by award-winning eco-fashion brand Rapanui.

The event was attended by a wide variety of groups and individuals from the food industry, horticulture, conservation, the media and the arts as well as beekeepers and MPs.

EJF and PAN UK's joint campaign aims to protect the UK's bees and pollinators, as well as the ecological and economic services they provide, through ending the use of harmful pesticides (particularly neonicotinoids) and promoting habitat protection.

We are calling for an immediate moratorium on all neonicotinoid pesticides that have been linked to bee declines and urge the Government to adopt a Pollinator Action Plan to protect all bees and pollinators.