Britain boosts bumblebee battle

Mar 22, 2006

British farmers are being paid about $350 a year to help save bumblebees from extinction by planting a clover mixture at the edges of their fields.

Entomologists say Britain's bumblebee numbers have fallen to dangerously low levels, mainly because of the destruction of their habitats the BBC reported Wednesday.

The government-sponsored "Operation Bumblebee" is designed to increase the number of the 24 species of British bumblebees on 1,000 farms during the next three years.

Scientists estimate there are approximately 70 percent fewer bumblebees in Britain than there were 20 years ago -- mainly because farmers no longer leave areas of clover and legumes for the bees to feed on and live in.

The farmers are being paid to sow seeds that will attract the bees, which pollinate many crops including strawberries and oil seed rape.

British authorities are also warning gardeners to avoid modern hybrid plants, which are often sterile and not good for the bees. Instead, gardeners are urged to plant traditional species, such as lavender, rosemary, geraniums, foxglove and heathers.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Innovation experts publish holistic framework to achieving game-changing innovation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Wanted: Billions of bees for European farms

Jan 08, 2014

Many countries in Europe face a worrying lack of crop-pollinating honeybees, a problem caused mainly by an EU policy shift in favour of biofuels, scientists warned on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Passengers boarding airplanes—we're doing it wrong

2 minutes ago

'Tis the season for airplane travel. We may be looking forward to getting where we're going, but most aspects of the travel itself are merely endured. There's stressful security, the madding crowd and the ...

Bitter coffee today? Try changing the colour of your cup

52 minutes ago

In Australia, around a billion cups of coffee a year are consumed in cafés, restaurants and other outlets. Even Britain, a nation famous for its fondness for tea, has in recent years seen a dramatic ris ...

Recreating clothes from the Iron Age

2 hours ago

A few years ago, the oldest known piece of clothing ever discovered in Norway, a tunic dating from the Iron Age, was found on a glacier in Breheimen. Now about to be reconstructed using Iron Age textile techniques, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.