PLANTING more flowers in your garden could quadruple the survival rate of bees and help the species to recover, according to new research.

Scientists say their findings, which come from the largest ever study of wild bees, suggest that increasing the number of flowers can raise the probability of bumblebee family survival by up to four times. 

And they said the research will help farmers and policy makers manage the British countryside more effectively to provide for the vital but declining insects.

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The study, led by the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and published in the journal Nature, used DNA technology and remote sensing to identify, map and track mother, daughter and sister bumblebees over two years.

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The research showed access to a range of pollen and nectar-rich flowers is vital to their populations’ survival .

Lead author Dr Claire Carvell, said: “By decoding the clues hidden in the DNA of bumblebee queens and workers, and combining these with detailed landscape surveys, our research demonstrates the survival of bumblebee families between years is linked with habitat quality at a landscape scale.”