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Flower-enriched farms boost bee populations

Flower strips sown into farmers’ fields not only attract bees but increase their numbers, new University of Sussex research has shown.

A two-year study of farms in West Sussex and Hampshire in the UK found that England’s most common bumblebee species saw significant population growth where targeted, bee-friendly planting schemes were in place.

A number of ‘agri-environment’ schemes have been introduced to try to halt and reverse the decline of bumblebees, whose numbers have been falling because of changes in agricultural practices that have largely removed flowers from the landscape, leaving the bees with little to feed upon.

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