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Page last updated at 08:12 GMT, Monday, 22 October 2012 09:12 UK

Bumblebees are threatened by pesticides

Two widely-used pesticides have a harmful effect on bumblebees and threaten the survival of their colony, scientists have found.

Research that aimed to mimic conditions in the countryside, where bees come into contact with numerous different chemicals while searching for food, found the combined effects of the pesticides significantly reduced the success of colonies.

Dr Nigel Raine of Royal Holloway, University of London, and co-author of the report, explained these pesticides are "just one of the stresses that these bees are facing".

Emphasising the importance of the insects to the ecosystem, he explained: "Bees are essential pollinators of both agricultural crops and wild plants… we rely on them to maintain the diversity that we enjoy."

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