County to be urged to create flower meadows to aid bees

SCHOOLS and council buildings across North Yorkshire are to be urged to create wildflower meadows to halt the decline of the county's bee population.

North Yorkshire County Council has set up a working group to explore ways of increasing habitats for bees, many of which have been lost in recent years.

With two species of bumblebee already extinct, two endangered, and 10 in serious decline, council officers say urgent action is needed to protect the insects in the county.

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Hugh Williamson, the head of scrutiny and corporate performance, said: "The council has a duty to promote biodiversity and it owns or manages a large amount of land that could be managed to benefit this.

"The decline of bee populations has an impact for both economic and ecological reasons."

The British Beekeepers Association says that more than a third of Britain's bees have died in the past three years.

Food shortages and a loss of natural habitats are a key reason in their decline.