FARMERS ARE being encouraged to take five simple actions to care for bees and other pollinators to coincide with Bees' Needs Week 2021.

Bees and other pollinators are an essential part of our environment and play a crucial role in food production - contributing to the equivalent of more than £500 million a year to UK agriculture and food production, by improving crop quality and quantity. They are also vital to our wider, natural ecosystems but their populations are under threat from risks such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pests and disease, climate change and inappropriate pesticide use.

Bees’ Needs Week 2021 which runs between July 12 and 18, will see the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and several green organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society and Bumblebee Conservation Trust, work together to encourage everyone who can to do simple things to help pollinators thrive.

Five simple actions include: growing more flowers, shrubs and trees; letting gardens grow wild and cutting grass less often; not disturbing insect nests and hibernation spots, and being mindful of pesticide use.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Bees and other pollinators are not just a welcome and much loved sight in our gardens, parks, villages and countryside – they are vital to a healthy environment, driving our economy and boosting biodiversity.

“Everyone can help them flourish by leaving patches of garden to grow wild, growing more flowers, cutting grass less often, not disturbing insect nests, and carefully considering how we use pesticides,"she explained.

Natural England CEO, Marian Spain said: “Without nature we could not live. Pollinators including bees especially show us this; holding the environment together by moving pollen between plants, enabling whole systems to be sustained and replenished, and ensuring vital food supplies for wildlife and people."