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Last Updated: Wednesday August 05 2009 06:47 GMT

Plan to put beehives in gardens

A beehaus

People who live in towns and cities are being encouraged to keep bees in their back gardens to help them survive.

The number of bees buzzing around has dropped in recent years, and while they may seem a little scary because of their stings, they are very important.

When the bees raid flowers for nectar they also pass pollen around, which helps plants and food crops grow.

Now a cool-looking beehive has been designed to encourage people to try beekeeping at their own homes.

A government group called Natural England is behind the plan.

Beekeepers
A more traditional looking beehive and beekeepers

It also wants people to grow more plants in their gardens that bees like, to make it easier for honeybee populations to survive.

And if people do choose to have a hive of their own they may be able to collect and snack on their own honey as well.

Bees are big money

Experts think bees are worth between £100m and £200m to food growers, and sales of honey are worth between £10m and £30m.

There are some 250 species of bee in the UK, including 25 bumblebee species, and the numbers of all of them are falling.