>> A hive of activity in this London park. Kids taking part in the Great British Bee Count. Organized by Friends of the Earth, this six week long count help scientists understand how climate change, loss of habitat, and toxic pesticides are endangering these vital insects. Bees pollinate three-quarters of the world's crops.
In Europe, nearly one in ten wild bees face extinction. In the US, it's up to a quarter. The Bee Count, now in its fourth year, and other campaigns to save the bees, have pushed the government to take steps.>> After several years of pressure, the government's bringing in a national pollinator monitoring scheme.
I'm Lucy Field, reporting for Reuters from the grounds of the Horniman Museum in South London where they've been holding a British bee count. It's a sign of growing public awareness that our bees are in trouble, and if they are, then so's our food supply.>> Bee spotters are encouraged to record bees using the Bee Count app so Friends of the Earth scientists can verify sightings and help scientists and policy makers reverse bee decline.
>> Bees, as pollinators, are incredibly valuable to us. In the UK alone it would cost us 1.8 billion pounds to pollinate plants by hand if we didn't have bees and other pollinators around. The data's lacking for them because there's not enough scientists out there looking for them. So what we hope to enable to do with the app is to add to those distribution maps that we have for the bees by getting more people with their eyes on the prize.
>> The buzz about saving bees is also putting pressure on the makers of pesticides blamed for harming them. A partial ban by the European Union comes up for review this year. Prompting a tug-of-war between environmentalists who want it expanded and farmers and manufacturers who say the benefits outweigh any harm.