Beekeepers, environmentalists and academics will heading to the Royal Cornwall Showground this Friday for a summit to discuss the global decline in bee populations.

Recent years have seen nearly 50 per cent of European bee hives not making through the winter, a trend echoed in North America.

These losses are having a serious impact on biodiversity, and if they are not stemmed soon will affect food production across the world. One third of all the crops human consume rely on bees and smaller groups of other insects for pollination.

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton and the Tregothnan Estate are hosting Friday’s ‘Cornwall Bee Summit’ at the Tregothnan Suite at the Royal Cornwall Showground.

The summit, featuring a panel of expert speakers including leading local beekeepers, DEFRA and Cornwall Council representatives, and academics from Exeter University and Duchy College, will be chaired by Sarah Newton with questions being opened to the floor.

Other speakers include Radio 4’s Martha Kearney. Places at the event can be booked through

Mrs Newton, a former trainee beekeeper herself, said: ‘‘Here in Cornwall we are blessed with a passionate and incredibly knowledgeable beekeeping community, as well as some of the leading academics in the field. 

"I am very grateful to Tregothnan, with all their bee keeping experience, for hosting the summit and very much look forward to the audience focused discussion we will be having on the day. This discussion will feed directly into my parliamentary work as I next week lead a debate in the House of Commons on what more can be done to support our beleaguered bee population.’’

Speaking on BBC Radio Cornwall Mrs Boscawen of Tregothnan said: ‘‘We passionately believe that Cornwall can take a lead in the world and really help honey bees while growing a viable business. We see this as a fabulous opportunity and have recruited leading beekeepers to the estate to make specialist honey both in Cornwall and Kent. Tregothnan has relied on bees on the estate for almost 700 years to boost pollination for increased harvests as well as delicious honey.’’

The Tregothnan Trading MD added: ‘We have the largest introduced flora in the world, and now the team to really boost bees.

"There are opportunities to get involved with sponsorship of trials at Tregothnan and to share in the benefits of practical research on the ground. Tregothnan is working with bees and business to support bees, it is fantastic to have the support of Sarah Newton in the government as well as the academics, landowners and businesses, both UK and overseas.

"Effective pollination services will bring huge benefit to targeted UK crops using experience gained in other countries’’