1 in 3 bees didn’t survive the winter

Few creatures are as synonymous with the British summertime as the bumblebee, but the UK's habitats are becoming increasingly difficult for the furry flier.

Over a third of all honeybee colonies in England died over the past winter, according to new figures from the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) – this represents the highest losses since its winter survival survey began.

"The wet summer prevented honey bees from foraging for food, resulting in poorly developed colonies going into winter," said a BBKA spokeswoman.

Not many of us are lucky enough to have a bumblebee nesting on our plot, but there is a few tweaks you can make to improve the chances of attracting a queen bee, so get the cultivators and tillers out.

If you plant spring-flowering varieties such as hellebore and crocus, you can provide both a food source and some nesting options for the bees in time for next year.

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