Both honeybees and wild bees have suffered declines in recent years. These are thought to be linked to agricultural intensification, including pesticide use and loss of habitats/ floral resources, as well as the emergence of new diseases and climate change.
Their sensitivity to the way we manage land in the UK has long been a cause for concern. However, this same sensitivity makes honeybees ideal for monitoring changes in the countryside over time and at a national scale - due to the large distances over which honeybees forage, often traveling many kilometres from their hives.
The honey collected by honeybees contains incredibly valuable information on the state of the landscape the bees live in and environmental pressures they are exposed to.