MENUS for cafes in Newtown are being changed for a week to raise awareness of the importance of bees as part of a campaign to raise awareness of their plight.

Cafes such as Bank Tea Rooms and Glanhafren Market Hall will be adding items to their menu for one week that only use ingredients made through pollination.

The number of bees is rapidly diminishing and it is feared that if they become extinct, humans could follow very soon.

In total eight cafes have joined the week-long campaign from July 16 to 22 which is being organised by Montgomeryshire Friends of the Earth branch.

Mel Chandler, of Montgomeryshire Friends of the Earth, said: “We didn’t think we’d get this many cafes involved, but it just shows how many care about the bees. Bees have got a problem with our current environment and we want to make people think about how bland our diets would be without them.”

“Bees are on a serious decline; 97 per cent of flower-rich meadows have been lost since the 1930s. If UK farmers lost bees it would cost £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops manually.”

One of the cafes getting involved is The Bank Tea Rooms.

Owner, Geraldine (Ged) Warren said: “We’re getting involved because we care about helping the environment, therefore we are actively helping bees.

“We have many bee friendly plants in our cafe garden to help them.”

Ged added: “When you look at the list of foods we wouldn’t have without them it makes you realise how important it is to save them. So look out for our Bee Friendly dish during Bee Friendly week “

“I’m in the middle of coming up with a menu that uses foods that are helped by pollination.”

Pollinators are an essential component of the Welsh environment. Honeybees and wild pollinators including bumblebees, solitary bees, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, butterflies and moths and some beetles are important pollinators across a wide range of crops and wild flowers.

The value of pollination as a contribution to the UK crop market in 2007 was £430 million and the annual cost of hand pollination.