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Scientists to monitor declining honey yield

A new scheme is set to help scientists understand why the UK’s honey yield is declining.

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is asking both amateur and professional bee keepers to send in regular honey samples, for analysis using advanced methods including DNA barcoding and mass spectrometry.

Scientists will identify the types of pollen and pesticide residues in the honey, as well as some of the diseases to which bees are exposed.

In the UK, the average yield per hive has been around 11kg - compared to the 22-45kg that was typical in the 1950s. Figures from the European Commission show the UK’s honey yield fell from 6,400 tonnes in 2011, to 2,800 in 2015.

Negative impact on bees and their productivity include poor weather, loss of wild flowers, pesticide use, climate change and an increase in disease.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.