About What we do Champion bees As a key stakeholder involved in the development of the National Pollinator Strategy the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) welcomed the launch of the National Pollinator Strategy on 4th November 2014. As a leading beekeeping organisation, established in 1874, we have sought at every stage of the development of the strategy to keep the bee's needs at the top of the agenda. Recent times have presented substantial challenges to the health of our bee colonies. The BBKA has campaigned, informed, educated and worked in partnerships to secure the future of our bees with and on behalf of the 24,500 Beekeepers we represent and of course to the benefit of food production and the environment. Information & Research As well as offering research grants to those who demonstrate worthy and innovative proposals, our beekeeping activities support over 260 local associations to help in the collection of swarms, working with schools and environmental partners. We work with business providing information and research results to improve the provision of pollen and nectar rich forage within the urban and farmed environment across the country. By planting flowering plants for honeybees we can provide the forage nectar and pollen they need from early spring right through to early winter. In doing so we also support bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies and other pollinators with the continuous supply of the pollen and nectar they require. In turn this creates habitats, which produce the berries and seeds that wildlife such as birds, small mammals and other insects depend on. Key players Honeybees are key players in pollination. However, they face their own problems such as the Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) weakening their defences against bee diseases like viruses, as well as the imminent threats from Small Hive Beetle and the Asian Hornet. Beekeepers manage their bees, providing hives and food when needed to ensure that there is a pollination resource available to enable fruits and crops to be produced as well as flowers, trees and shrubs to reproduce. Honey is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the importance of bees.