Farmers Need Bees, Bees Need Farmers


In the wake of the publication of the Government’s National Pollinator Strategy in October 2014, this discussion brings together farmers, researchers and campaigners to look at the relationship between bees and farming. Professor Bill Kunin will present the latest results from the Agriland pollinator project while farmers James Taylor and Peter Lundgren will show that it is possible to farm while also helping wildlife, and to do so profitably.


Sandra Bell
Sandra is a Nature Campaigner for Friends of the Earth where for the last two years she has worked on the organisation’s award winning Bee Cause campaign. The campaign recently led to the Government publishing a National Pollinator Strategy. Before bees Sandra worked in Friends of the Earth’s food and farming team covering issues from supermarket power to pesticides. Prior to working at Friends of the Earth Sandra worked in local government and is a qualified town planner.
Twitter @sandrambell, @wwwfoecouk

Professor Bill Kunin
Bill is an ecologist who specialises in studying plants and the insects that forage upon them , in particular pollinators and herbivores. Bill was educated in the United States (at Princeton, Harvard and the University of Washington) and came to
the UK in 1992 to take up a postdoctoral research post at Imperial College. He was offered a lectureship at the University of Leeds in 1996 and was later promoted to become Professor of Ecology. Bill has a long history of looking at pollinator communities in farmland, dating back to his doctoral work, and including participation in two UK RELU (Rural Economy and Land Use) projects. In recent years he organised and led an Insect Pollinators Initiative project (“AgriLand”) on the effects of agriculture and land use on pollinator populations.

Peter Lundgren
Peter farms combinable crops and potatoes near Lincoln. He is a campaigner for a sustainable and financially viable future for farming and a founder member of FARM, a director of GM Freeze, and works closely with a number of environment and animal welfare NGOs. Recently he has published a comparative economic analysis of pesticide regimes in oilseed rape and wheat for the Friends of the Earth ‘bee cause’ campaign. He writes on farming issues and has been invited to speak at universities in Europe, North America and South America on farming issues that are relevant to a wider audience concerned about the social and environmental implications of farming and food production.

James Taylor
James farms with his father Andrew at Broughton Grounds Farm near Banbury. The 400 acre tenanted farm is a traditional mixed unit; 500 ewes, 34 suckler cows, 300 laying hens on 170 acres in a six year rotation of winter wheat (x2), winter barley, spring oats and a two year clover ley. The farm is in Higher Level Stewardship and hosted 80 farm visits in 2014. James previously worked for Linking Environment and Farming and has also worked on development projects in Nepal and Mozambique.


Audio Download 


James Taylor Presentation

Peter Lundgren Presentation