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Last Updated: Tuesday April 21 2009 15:13 GMT

10m to look into decline of bees

Sonali investigates the decline of bees

With the weather getting warmer, there should be more honey bees flying around. But over the past few years, millions of them have been dying.

Now scientists have been given £10m by the government to find out exactly why. Sonali's been finding out more.


So, what's happening to British bees?

The number of wild honey makers has dramatically dropped over the past few years.

Pesticides, parasites and the weather have all been blamed, but now scientists are going to be spending millions to try to find out exactly what the problem is.

But why are bees so important? Well it's all down to science.

When a bee goes from flower to flower looking for nectar, it ends up picking up and spreading pollen too. This helps the plant grow.

Without bees around to pollinate like this, we wouldn't find everyday things like peas, cucumbers or strawberries in the shops...

Dr Robert Paxton
Dr Robert Paxton

Scientist Dr Robert Paxton said: "We reckon that one in four mouthfuls of food is dependent directly or indirectly on bee pollination. That's the food that we all eat."

So if bees disappear, so does a lot of our food. There are worries that will lead to food costing more.

And as well as affecting what goes on our plate, the countryside wouldn't look like it does now anymore.

Sonali visits a bee hive
Sonali in a bee suit

So, while the experts try to figure out why bees are disappearing, we can help too.

You can plant wildflowers in your garden like they've done in the Blue Peter garden - think of it like a bee café - somewhere they can come and grab some food.