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WWF Blame Climate Change For Bee Decline- But Their Report Says The Opposite

May 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood


Apparently some species of bees are in decline, and guess what, it’s because of climate change!



Many species of bee are on the brink of extinction in parts of the UK – and some types have been lost entirely, a report has found.

Climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease are threatening the pollinators, the analysis of 228 species concluded.

It discovered that 17 species were regionally extinct – including the Great Yellow Bumblebee, the Potter Flower Bee and the Cliff Mason Bee – with 25 types threatened and another 31 of conservation concern.

The bee’s pollinating services are worth £690m a year to the UK economy.

Published on World Bee Day, the ‘Bees Under Siege’ report by WWF and Buglife recommends a number of conservation actions to help reverse declines:

  • Ensure that coastal management plans protect coastal habitats and promote the management of sea walls
  • Safeguard wildlife-rich brownfield sites and promote beneficial management
  • Identify opportunities to connect disjointed habitat fragments and promote coordinated management between landowners and landholdings
  • Local authorities can work with and support local communities in urban areas to restore and create new habitats
  • Ongoing survey and monitoring of bee populations
  • Maintain and increase awareness, advice, support and funding for practical delivery projects.
  • The report also called on the new Westminster Environment Bill to be “ambitious enough” to develop a nature recovery network for bees.



The WWF, who jointly wrote the report, acknowledge that habitat loss is the major factor, but play the climate card in their introduction on their website:



This account is absurd, and is not even mentioned in the actual report itself. But, just for the record, these are the actual facts:



 Summer Droughts/ Prolonged Flooding 


England Rainfall - Summer


Cold Springs


England Mean daily maximum temp - Spring



Coastal Storms



As for the actual report itself, which can be seen here, the Summary only makes one solitary mention of the word “climate”, and this only relates to future threats:


ScreenHunter_4282 May. 24 18.12


This is in strong contrast to the Foreword, which is essentially the political statement written by the two CEOs:





And when we delve into the detailed report, climate change is barely mentioned at all, other than as some sort of unquantified future threat.





Most of the above highlights are about future threats, for which there is little evidence. All that they can come up with is climate change is widely predicted to increase extreme events such as summer droughts, flooding and storms.

As for losing synchronicity, when plants flower earlier than normal, a look at the climate data shows that annual variations in spring temperatures throughout the record overwhelm long term trends, which in any event have levelled off in the last decade or so:

England Mean daily maximum temp - Spring


When they look at current patterns, about the only effects of climate change they can find appear to be the spread of the range to the north and west, along with the introduction of bees from mainland Europe. Hardly apocalyptic!


The Independent article mentions that 17 species have gone extinct regionally, but as the report itself states, most were last recorded prior to 1950!





There are also said to be 25 species considered as threatened in the East of England.

A word search for “climate” in this section of the report again brings up a number of future potential threats, but as for current population trends, most references to climate mention increasing range.

The only negative comment is about this little fellow:




Evidently the little blighter is faring pretty well over the border, even if it finds East Anglia too hot!



If this report was an advert, it would be taken down by the Advertising Standards Authority, because it does not contain what it says on the can.


There is little wonder that bees are struggling when we wipe out their habitat, get rid of their food and spray the countryside with pesticides.

Yet remarkably it turns out that most of the damage was being done a century ago.

As for climate change, even the report itself admits that it has had very little negative effect, and instead been a positive boon in many cases.


But you did not really expect the WWF to tell the truth, did you?

  1. Ken Pollock permalink
    May 24, 2019 7:31 pm

    Paul, It is interesting that you highlight the comments by the two CEOs. Two years ago, Tanya Steele of the WWF launched a collaboration of about a dozen environmental organisations at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. I was there, as well as Michael Gove and Claire Perry. Tanya Steele gave an impassioned speech about how polluted our air was, as a motivation for action.
    I planned to query this in the Q&A, but there wasn’t one. So I tackled her myself one to one afterwards, with the HMG graphs showing the huge decline in SO2, NO2, PM10s, VOC, etc. She did not want to accept the data, and said she was talking about something else. I pursued WWF, demanding that they circulate all 50 or so people present, to correct the false information Tanya Steele had disseminated. They refused.
    I would not now easily accept anything she says, and your story entirely fits my perception.
    How are the public gravely deceived by these apparently virtuous organisations…

    • mikewaite permalink
      May 24, 2019 9:48 pm

      What is more worrying is the effect on gullible minds in positions of power like the two, Gove and Perry, mentioned. It does not, for example take much to bamboozle Gove, An unschooled, mentally maladjusted child can do it, let alone the clever, unscrupulous and well practised directors of Green organisations. And to think that he may be our next PM.

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      May 24, 2019 9:51 pm

      That is absolutely disgraceful, Ken. They are literally making it up as they go along. Deliberately misleading policy makers and public alike. The astounding thing is that it doesn’t even ring one alarm bell with even supposedly intelligent people. Healthy scepticism seems to have been replaced by aggressive defence of entrenched positions by “scientists” with vested interests and a desire to appear virtuous by policy makers.

    • MrGrimnasty permalink
      May 24, 2019 11:53 pm

      There was an article on the radio the other day saying whereas most children used to walk to school in the 70’s, nowadays only a tiny proportion do – one reason given was the worry about breathing the polluted air – yes, they really believe air quality was better in the 70s!

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        May 25, 2019 9:42 am

        Yet the government’s own figures show air pollutants are c.25% of what they were in 1970. In other words, things like PMs were three times higher then.

  2. May 24, 2019 7:38 pm

    This isn’t even conclusion-based evidence, its conclusions tacked onto any old evidence.

    My limited observations of bees (one UK garden over the last few years) is that bees are doing OK this spring.

    • John Smith permalink
      May 24, 2019 7:58 pm

      The Rowan trees outside my cottage are in spectacular blossom and buzzing with hundreds of bees just like last year and the year before so nothing to see here except normality. I admit that I am fortunate to live in a largely pristine area, but I can see no reason for panic.

  3. HotScot permalink
    May 24, 2019 7:40 pm

    This nonsense has long been discredited. Bee’s have been at risk from bad hive husbandry, not climate change.

    I notice the mite that was supposed to wipe out all bees a few years ago isn’t mentioned. But of course it’s been identified as a consequence of bad husbandry and, naturally, bee keepers, in a desire to maintain their income, cleaned up their act.

    The last time I took interest in the subject commercial bee stocks across the western world were healthy and increasing.

    • mikewaite permalink
      May 24, 2019 9:52 pm

      Has the suggestion that the colony collapse was due to neonicotinoids used in agriculture been shown to be invalid. I thought that the main effect on bees was to cause them to lose the memory of where the hive is in relation to food sources, and this effect, demonstrated by presumably reliable scientists, had caused the |EU to put a ban on the use of the chemicals as an insecticide.

      • bobn permalink
        May 25, 2019 1:49 am

        The neonicotinoid scare was/is another hypothetical story thats never been proven by rigorous studies. We live in an age of conjecture – not science.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        May 25, 2019 9:45 am

        Debunked. The biggest study claimed to show neonicotinoids were a problem but the data in the report simply did not back up the conclusions. Many areas with colony collapse had no neonicotinoids and many areas with neonicotinoids had no colony collapse.

  4. May 24, 2019 8:25 pm

    Are there any green organisations more corrupt than Greenpeace and WWF? No wonder they get so much Coverage by the BBC.

  5. G. Pryce permalink
    May 24, 2019 8:49 pm

    It’s true that, last year, bees and flying bugs seemed not nearly so plentiful. However, bugs are well and truly back this year with plenty of evidence to be seen on windscreens. Also, in Shropshire, we are seeing many more swarms of honey bees and lots of bumble bees. I know to at least six bird boxes inhabited with bumble bee nests. Last year I came across none. Yet more WWF nonsense!

  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    May 24, 2019 9:00 pm

    An entry for the battiest think tank award:

  7. charles wardrop permalink
    May 24, 2019 9:51 pm

    No taxpayers’ money should be given to them.
    I saw recently, at their Dunkeld, Perthshire HQ, a fine new Rolls Royce saloon, registration “WWF1”, although I don’t know, of course, who had payed for it.

  8. May 24, 2019 9:56 pm

    Unfortunately, by blaming climate change – something that in the UK we have a vanishingly small possibility to control – we end up diverting attention away from the true culprits in all this (the main one being industrial farming – the East of England is nearly covered with vast fields, which with today’s pesticides are usually completely weed free).

    If you are in a stuffy room with a man who’s trying to stab you with a stiletto, your first move should not be to let in some fresh air, unless that coincides with throwing the door open to flee for your life.

  9. May 24, 2019 10:05 pm

    The big problem is change of habitat. In the Uk , since the 1930s , 7+ million acres of meadows have disappeared thus taking away food sources for bees and all other insects, Absolutely nothing to do with the climate which is hardly changing as in the US, prairie grass, a drought resistant grass( can withstand 30 years of drought and even flower during one), grew across the country illustrating the climate- that has not changed!

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      May 24, 2019 11:25 pm

      Hardly any of the UK countryside is natural, ergo it is silly to worry about changes in plants and insects that only exist in grassland that only exists because sheep were kept on the downs! It’s just change. Environmentalists and climate alarmists seem obsessed with fixing the world in aspic. It has never been non-changing, and no change would be dangerous and counter-evolutionary.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    May 24, 2019 11:20 pm

    I’ve been a nature lover and gardener my whole live.

    Whereas I admit memory is selective etc. there is no doubt this year has certainly been a very good one for insects and bees especially. I’ve lost count of the different species of bees I’ve removed from my house (I often have the patio doors open) – this is certainly an exceptional year. The pear and apple blossom fruit set has been exceptional. And until a few years ago I’d never seen a colony of solitary ground nesting bees, but I have an ever growing one in my front garden. And my garage door lock has been sealed up with pollen and cut leaves!

    It’s also been an even madder year for House sparrows that were supposedly done for.

    What these ‘scientists’ fail to realise is that often populations run in boom and bust and move from area to area as the resources are exhausted or disease becomes troublesome.

    The pollination £value is just another ludicrous invention – many insects besides bees pollinate and foodcrops can easily be swapped for ones that require none.

  11. Jeff permalink
    May 25, 2019 1:15 am

    If the insect is a pest species they predict an explosion in numbers due to climate change,

    otherwise the harmless insects face extinction.

    I would say insects really are dependent on warmth and a warming climate would increase the area of earth capable of sustaining them.

  12. bobn permalink
    May 25, 2019 1:56 am

    Bees die of the cold. If it gets warmer they will thrive. However they are doing fine anyway despite BBC hysteria. The global bee population has increased over the last 5 yrs so whats the fuss? Oh, some parasitic psuedo-scientists have published some science fiction. AND people believe their shit??!

  13. calnorth permalink
    May 25, 2019 8:41 am

    The Forward above states 1000 Bee species at UK. There are approx 270 species in UK and similar in N. America, so where the extra 700 come from I do not know? I host solitary bees for my strawberries and tomatoes. Primarily the hard working Leaf Cutter and Red Mason Bees. Bumble Bees and Red Mason Bees have pretty much done my strawberries now and I expect the Carder Bee to turn up over the next 6 weeks to do my tomatoes…a daily intensive patrolling exercise.

    I experienced an awful lot of young solitary bees hanging around my Bay trees 4 weeks ago. Not sure what they were up to. Neighbours thought it was a swarm. Think some Bee queens got the timing wrong? I live in the W. Mids on a town edge

    Bees need warmth and fuel to operate well and species sequence their operating times…Bumblebees and Mason Bees appearing from March. Leaf Cutters appearing about now. Ad hoc counting is likely misleading? I’m talking about multi species wild Bees ..not commercial hive Bees.

    If an area (region) is devoid of sufficient nectar provisions Bees won’t be present and will not deposit their offspring in that area. Bees are not the only pollinators…add flies various particularly hover flies and butterflies. Many have not been documented.

    Bees operate in very hot greenhouses….I record 30+ deg C often. Also operate in the frosty foot hills of the Alps and to some extent on glaciers. Change in weather is nothing and climate has not changed in UK.

    Bees fail due to lack of fuel and diseases (mites various). I am always suspicious of commercial bee keeping in alarmist reports.

  14. calnorth permalink
    May 25, 2019 8:59 am

    Missed it….East England. UAE comes to mind?

    • calnorth permalink
      May 25, 2019 11:52 am


  15. Mark Winthrop permalink
    May 25, 2019 9:02 am

    It was a warm day yesterday when Mrs May’s Prime Ministership went extinct.

    Discuss the climatic implications of this and other similar resignations.

  16. Sara Hall permalink
    May 25, 2019 9:47 am

    I don’t know about the rest of Britain but down here in Guernsey, over the last few years, the numbers and varieties of bumble bees appear to be increasing, most certainly in my garden anyway. Bees moving South because of climate change? OK then.

  17. Malcolm Bell permalink
    May 25, 2019 10:43 am

    They say “The UK is one of the modt wildlife depleted nations in the world” – really? That is not “Spring Watch’s” story!

    As for bumble bees, I have a swarm in my bird box (which has a camera) and another in my roof. Both clearly have large numbers of members. I have seen many honey bees – but I do have to say not many wasps.

    I had a strong wasp nest last year and it started up again in March but has clearly failed since. Have the Bumble Bees seen them off?

    Which raises the question that the “enthusiasts” never mention: How much is the change in populations to do with inter-species competition? One kind of bee displacing another.

    Equally how much might the rise in bumble bees this year have to do with the collapse in Swallows and House Martins? These apparently killed in millions in France this year – we normally have twenty or so at the stables we use and in Cumbria at a site I know well the House Martins have not turned up but three Swallows made it when we expect a dozen or so. So – disaster for insectivore birds, big win for bees. Maybe?

    Answers please WWF.

  18. tom0mason permalink
    May 25, 2019 10:44 am

    From what the commenters here have said it is plain an obvious that people don’t properly understand.
    There just isn’t enough statues protecting everything Green. What is needed is more restrictive legislation, more law, especially for those wicked land owners and their even more evil twin big business. That is what WWF is about, pushing for more protection of what they see as humankind’s wicked ways, for without such laws the biosphere will be ruined, everything will go extinct because of the actions of all you selfish individuals.

    Thankfully ALL major UK political parties are on board with this idea, so soon nature will be free to reign supreme with the all new ‘Survival of the best protected’ taking legal precedence over human needs.


    • Malcolm Bell permalink
      May 26, 2019 12:40 pm

      Are you serious Tom? I naturally assumed that you were sending up the greens but reading it again suggests that you mean it.

      What a pity.

      • tom0mason permalink
        May 26, 2019 12:50 pm

        Sarcasm is so hard to put over on blogs but that is what’s intended. I especially dislikes the smarmy politicians who kowtow to the Greens and their illogical ways.

  19. Rudolph Hucker permalink
    May 25, 2019 11:12 am

    I have a large wildlife friendly garden in which bees have been around in reasonable numbers, This year we have the largest amount of bees I have seen in years,and types of bee I have not seen before! Doubtless they will get plenty of mileage for their mistruths from the British Bullshit Corporation!

  20. eoin mc permalink
    May 25, 2019 2:32 pm

    Hi Paul. Just a quick note to let you all know that I have received a rejection of a complaint
    I had made to RTE, the state broadcaster, about the latest in their relentless climate bias
    – concerning a blatant half hour promotion of electric vehicles. To make a complaint against a programme one has to now first complain to the broadcaster after which you may complain to the regulatory authority. My main criticism concerned how even without the imminent banning of internal combustion engines that the EU was sleepwalking into probable winter blackouts.
    The reply I got back, in RTE’s outright and vehement rejection of my complaint, was deeply troubling. I had not realised that the Code that broadcasters use in supposedly complying with regulations concerning Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality, effectively requires broadcasters to “not encourage behaviour or views that are grossly prejudicial to the protection of the environment.” Moreover it refers to the “harmful nature of ‘artificial balance’ [my italics]” as it applies to affording views that are outside the consensus on anthropogenic climate change. Regards. Eoin

  21. Martin Howard Keith Brumby permalink
    May 25, 2019 2:59 pm

    Scaremongering is the very essence of WWF’s business model.
    More and more ridiculous scare stories and shroud waving, as a backdrop to expensive TV adverts flogging overpriced cuddly toys to fond Grandmas.

    Take a look at “PandaLeaks: The Dark Side of the WWF” by Wilfried Huismann.
    Warning, Huismann is an EcoLoon, but he seems to be that rarity, an honest EcoLoon and one who cares about the environment as he sees it.
    Since the book appeared in 2014, things have got much worse.
    No, not the environment, the WWF.

    At the deep green racketeers who head it up clearly don’t care a fiddler’s fart about the environment.

  22. Tim. permalink
    May 25, 2019 4:00 pm

    2017 we hosted a red tailed bee nest. Last year it was tree bees. Plenty of bees around this year.

  23. May 25, 2019 5:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  24. slingshot permalink
    May 29, 2019 5:12 pm

    After querying one aspect of their manifesto that tackled climate change, I received this reply from Dr Gareth Parry, Director of Conservation at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust:

    “As an evidence-led organisation, GWT acts upon scientific research. Over 97% of scientists around the world agree that over the past century the climate is changing more rapidly than at any point over hundreds of thousands of years and that this is due to human activities. We are already beginning to see the impacts of this on wildlife, and scientific research shows that it is one of the biggest threats to wildlife in the UK, with 25% of species at risk of local extinction with a 2 degree increase in global temperatures.

    Our manifesto said that we need to try to minimise climate change but also begin preparing for the impacts it will have on wildlife, such as reduced food availability and increased impact of flooding on nests and burrows.

    We must take both development and climate change seriously if we are to restore nature. Neither is easy but ignoring them will only lead to continued wildlife declines, which I am sure neither of us want.”


  1. WWF Blame Climate Change For Bee Decline- But Their Report Says The Opposite — – NZ Conservative Coalition

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