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  Early bees mean climate changes
Updated 12 March 2004, 15.27
Bee on a flower
Christmas is not usually the time for buzzing bees, but they have been swarming in much earlier than usual this year, said the Woodland Trust.

Volunteers for the conservation group recorded five spottings in December and 56 in January, which is unusual.

Bees can be a tell-tale sign of climate change because they usually hibernate in the cold, but the early flowering of plants suggest change too.

The Trust released its findings for the start of National Science Week.

Daffodils in the snow
Plants are coming out earlier too
The group said people in the UK are getting used to seeing signs of spring much earlier, but early bees, birds and flowers also show that nature is a bit confused because of global warming.

Woodland Trust wants more people to volunteer to note down when they spot the appearances of animals and plants in unusual seasons to help them track climate change.

The proper name for this kind of recording is phenology.

In recent years, insects have been spotted about two or three weeks earlier than 25 years ago.

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