FoE is proposing that the government draw up a national strategy for bees and pollinators linked to biodiversity and climate change actions, food security and farming and farming initiatives and rural and urban development plans.
Campaigners dressed in black and yellow bee suits rallied outside the headquarters of the European Commission in Brussels ahead of the vote for a ban on three key pesticide chemicals. The decision builds on a limited ban which has been in effect since 2013.
"The ban on neonicotinoids could be a really important step towards a more general questioning of the use of pesticides and the harm they are doing to our environment".
Honey samples from around the world have been found to be contaminated with neonicotinoids.
He added that farmers were "acutely aware" that bees played a crucial role in food production, and had planted 10,000 football pitches of flower habitat across the United Kingdom to support the insects.
"Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can't live with these chemicals and we can't live without bees".
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However, the pesticide manufacturers and some farming groups have accused the European Union of being overly cautious and suggested crop yields could suffer, a claim rejected by others. A recent, study revealed that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany in the past 25 years - with the exact causes of this ecological Armageddon being unclear. "These three neonicotinoids are just the tip of the iceberg - there are many more pesticides out there, including other neonicotinoids, that are just as risky for bees and food production", she said, calling for governments to ban all bee-harming pesticides.
In November, UK environment secretary Michael Gove overturned the UK's previous opposition to tougher restrictions on neonicotinoids.
"The current New Zealand rules include not spraying insecticides in close proximity to bee hives or crops with budding or flowering plants where bees may gather and feed".
Swiss agribusiness company Syngenta called the decision "disappointing" and added that "evidence clearly shows that neonicotinoids pose a minimum threat to bee health compared to a lack of food, diseases and cold weather". "I believe this justifies further restrictions on their use".
Sandra Bell, bee campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said that the "comprehensive" ban is a "tremendous victory" for our bees and the wider environment.