SNP MSP Ben Macpherson has joined wildlife experts in urging the UK Government and homeowners to do more to help bees.

In the wake of Brexit, the MSP has called on the UK Government to adhere to the EU’s regulations on the use of harmful pesticides, which have contributed to a decline in bee numbers.

Macpherson, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Don’t Step on a Bee Day, said: “It is vital that the UK Government commits to maintaining this legislation – which helps to protect our natural environment and keep ecosystems flourishing”.

Macpherson was also quick to promote the produce of Scottish beekeepers. “It is also a good time to remember the work of our beekeepers in producing honey for consumers – and I hope to see people creating a buzz around this fantastic local produce”, he added.

The call has been made ahead of “bees’ needs week”. The initiative is part of the national pollinator strategy by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in partnership with charities, businesses and academic institutions.

An estimated 97 per cent of the UK’s flower-rich grassland has been lost since the 1930s, which, along with the use of pesticides, has helped to decimate bees’ food supply. As a result, two species of bumblebee have become extinct in the last 20 years. Many more species are in serious danger of meeting the same fate.

Authorities are desperate to make a change, recognising that bees’ pollinating function – which boosts yields and quality of seeds and fruits – is worth £600 million a year to the UK economy.

Defra has highlighted five methods of helping the insects, including leaving patches of land to grow wild, not disturbing or destroying nesting or hibernating insects, cutting grass less often, avoiding pesticides, if possible, and growing more flowers, shrubs and trees that are rich in nectar and pollen.