Rural and Environment

Boost for our bees and butterflies

July 27, 2017 by No Comments | Category Climate Change, Environment, Wildlife

To coincide with the launch of our Pollinator Strategy, Craig Macadam, Conservation Director of Buglife, explains why we have to protect our pollinators.

Imagine a world without chocolate. A world without coffee, wildflowers, strawberries, tomatoes. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on insect pollination. It is almost impossible to over-emphasise the importance of the service provided by pollinators.

Bees, wasps, hoverflies, butterflies and moths are essential to healthy ecosystems, their hard work fertilises flowers, creating the seeds and fruits that feed us and other animals and blooms that provide colour in the Scottish countryside.

Most plants rely on insects to pollinate their flowers and so complete their reproductive cycle – they cannot set seed without being pollinated. Without bees, hoverflies and other insects visiting flowers, there would be no apples, raspberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, pears, almonds, elderberries, cherries, blackberries… and very few flowers in our gardens and countryside.

Some species of pollinators in Scotland are in decline. The Great yellow bumblebee was once widespread, but is now restricted to the wildflower-rich machair in northern Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. Hoverflies with specialist habitat requirements such as the Pine hoverfly and Aspen hoverfly are now only found in small patches of woodland in the Cairngorms and Deeside. The once familiar hairy caterpillars of the Garden tiger moth are no longer commonly seen in Scottish gardens.

We need to help our pollinators by creating more space for them, by restoring and creating areas of wildflowers in our gardens, our towns and the countryside. Everyone can play their part – even the smallest window box filled with wildflowers can provide essential food for pollinators.

If you want to know more about the importance of pollinators, and bees in particular, watch this great video courtesy of science “explainer” site, and

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Leave a comment

By submitting a comment, you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy policy to see how the Scottish Government handles your information.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *