BeeCause Logo

Our native bee species in the UK have been in decline over recent years as a result of a number of social and environmental factors. Similar declines have been recorded all over the world, and some parts of China have already been forced to pollinate crops by hand.

Bees pollinate 75% of our crops and it has been estimated that it would cost British farmers and growers a whopping £1.8 billion to replace them with pollination by hand (assuming we can recruit enough farm workers to do this). Friends of the Earth set up the Bee Cause campaign to encourage the Government to put together a national Bee Action Plan to protect our native pollinators. This campaign was successful, as the National Pollinator Strategy was adopted in 2014.

Since then our job has been to help ensure that the Strategy is implemented, particularly regarding the use of pesticides, support for farmers and ensuring that local authorities adopt their own pollinator plans. There is still a lot of work to do here!

If you’d like to ask your local council to adopt a Pollinator Action plan, you can take part here (and you don’t have to live in Manchester to join in – this is a nationwide issue!)

There was more success in April 2018 when the EU permanently banned three of the most dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides.

Along with campaigning and raising awareness, at Manchester FOE we are also supporting our local bees by creating more bee-friendly habitats around Greater Manchester and promoting bee-friendly rapeseed oil. Many rapeseed oil producers nationwide have committed to avoiding the use of pesticides, for example Stringers in Yorkshire (stocked by Unicorn) and Great Ness in Shropshire (stocked by selected branches of Tesco and the Cheese Place in Prestwich).

If you’d like to cut down on the food miles by buying from a producer in the North West, we now have two varieties of bee-friendly rapeseed oil to choose from: Calvia produced near Macclesfield and Wignall’s Yallo from Standish near Wigan.

If you would like to get involved with Manchester FOE’s nature campaign please contact Damian at or Cat at


      Events are labelled using the following key: MFoE Organising MFoE Attending

      Join the Great British Bee Count 2018

      Would you like to learn how to identify the bees that visit your garden or local park? Would you like to count how many of each species you see, and help Friends of the Earth find out which are doing … Continue reading

      15th May 2018

      Bee-harming pesticides banned

      Today’s decision by EU member states, including the UK, to back a permanent ban on the outdoor use of three bee-harming pesticides is a “major victory for science, common sense and our under-threat bees”, says Friends of the Earth.

      27th Apr 2018
      3rd Mar 2018

      New neonic pesticide report confirms threat to bees

      Tougher ban on bee-harming pesticides essential, says Friends of the Earth A total ban on the outdoor use of three neonicotinoid pesticides is urgently needed, Friends of the Earth said, after a major new report published today (28 February) concluded … Continue reading

      28th Feb 2018

      Recipes for your bee-friendly rapeseed oil

      Have you already bought some high-quality bee-friendly British rapeseed oil produced while avoiding the use of harmful pesticides? If you’d like more information about the issues, you can find out more here. But if you’ve already got a bottle of … Continue reading

      20th Feb 2018

      Bee-friendly shopper’s guide to Local Rapeseed Oil

      An earth- and pollinator-friendly diet is healthy for us as well as various wild bees, honey bees and other pollinators. This is so whether we are vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous and especially if it includes the best oils and fats.

      10th Jan 2018

      European vote on banning bee-harming pesticides delayed until 2018

      Outdoor ban on neonicotinoid pesticides needed to help protect bees, says Friends of the Earth European Commission proposals for a complete outdoor ban on three neonicotinoids were discussed by member states today – but no vote was taken. The issue … Continue reading

      12th Dec 2017

      Support tougher restrictions on bee-harming pesticides

      For nearly four years, there has been a temporary ban on three bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids.

      9th Dec 2017

      Support tougher restrictions on bee-harming pesticides

      Environment Secretary Michael Gove finally backed tougher restrictions on bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids. His landmark decision is down to millions of people keeping up the pressure for a full ban on bee-harming neonics – and it demonstrates just how powerful … Continue reading

      9th Nov 2017

      Make a poster to save our bees

      For over three years there has been a Europe-wide ban on bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids. But this ban only applies to crops attractive to pollinators — it doesn’t cover crops like wheat. This October, Michael Gove will vote on behalf … Continue reading

      7th Sep 2017