James Paice (Minister of State (Agriculture and Food), Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; South East Cambridgeshire, Conservative)
Specific data on the honey bee population on 1 March 200 0 and 2010 is not available. The population varies during the year from around 20,000 per colony in the winter to 60,000 per colony in the summer. A study carried out by ADAS Consulting Ltd. in 2001 estimated that there were 230,000 managed honey bee colonies in England. No subsequent estimates have been made. However, the National Bee Unit, part of the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), has a voluntary database on which 18,878 beekeepers managing 102,172 colonies in England are currently registered.
In addition to the honey bee, there are many species of wild bee in our countryside, a number of which have been the focus of UK conservation action. Information on the distribution and status of wild bees is available thought the websites of voluntary groups such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust or the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society or from the Government-supported National Biodiversity Network Gateway which is an on-line database of information on the distribution of wildlife in the UK.