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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 February 2008, 00:36 GMT
Plea for early sightings of bees
A bumblebee
Bumblebees have already been spotted in Stirling
Reports of sightings of bumblebees are being sought by a conservation group.

An early start to spring has seen the insects emerge at the University of Stirling campus, where the Bumblebee Conservation Trust is based.

The organisation hopes people will send them digital images of any bumblebees they spot to help monitor activity.

The trust has been involved in various initiatives to boost numbers, including projects to aid the great yellow - the rarest bee in the UK.

The species clings to survival in areas of the Highlands and Islands.

Experts fear numbers could be harmed by a return of wintry conditions.

Last year's wet summer had a "dramatic" impact on ground nesting bumblebees, according to the trust.

Rain-sodden ground and moss can be a threat to certain species.

SEE ALSO
Fears over rare bumblebee numbers
06 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Bid to halt bumblebee decline
16 Apr 07 |  Tayside and Central
Trust to launch bumblebee watch
02 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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