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Last Updated: Friday April 13 2007 07:15 GMT

Bees have buzzed off from hives


Insect experts are trying to discover why thousands of bees have gone missing from their hives in England and Wales.

The buzz on the street is that blood-sucking mites may have killed loads of bees across parts of Britain.

Beekeepers are finding that up to 20 of their bee homes have become empty in areas like Sussex and Wales.

Simon Wilks, a beekeeper from London, said: "They just disappeared, there was no sign of disease or any problems with their hives."

Earlier this month, in America, beekeepers were asking their government for help to find out what's wrong with the insects in their country after thousands of bees left their hives.

It's thought that about one in four bee colonies in America have been affected by the drop in numbers.

And in Germany keepers have warned that honey bees could die out if the problem is not investigated.

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