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City bees get richer diet than bees from farmlands: Study

By Samyuktha

London, Aug 18 (ANI): A recent study has suggested that a richer and healthier diet is available for bees in urban and suburban settings as compared to the ones in farmland settings.

In an attempt to assess the link between bee health and diversity of pollen they encounter, honeybee hives from as many as 10 National Trust sites were studied.

The study found that the bees from farmlands had a noticeably narrower range of pollens than both urban and untouched "natural" settings.

Hives from Kensington Palace in London showed evidence of eucalyptus and elderberry, while suburban sites such as those around the University of Worcester - where the researchers who carried out the study work - showed a rich mix including lily, blackberry, rowan trees, and oilseed rape.

However, at more rural National Trust sites near farmland in Yorkshire and Somerset, the hives were overwhelmingly dominated by oilseed rape pollen.Matthew Oates of the National Trust said that although the results were no great surprise, they were "a very useful piece of information in terms of being able to quantify the problem that bees are up against in intensive agriculture systems."

"What is clear is that there is a far greater range of plants in urban and particularly suburban settings than in many of our contemporary agricultural landscapes," the BBC quoted Oates as saying.

"The difficult area for bees is modern mainstream farmland: intensive arable land for wheat, barley, oilseed rape, and also dairy beef and sheep grasslands.

"There really is so little forage for bees in those modern intensive farming systems," he added. (ANI)

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