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Children work to prolong flight of the bumblebee.

More than 500 youngsters are being recruited to help bumblebees thrive.

Rangers from Northumberland National Park are running a Bumblebee Borders project which will see children from 11 schools discover the life of bumblebees, as well as taking home a pack of six plants for their gardens.

The plants have been selected for their attractiveness to bumblebees.

Project leader Shaun Hackett said: "There are less wild flowers in the countryside nowadays, so gardens play an important role in helping to provide suitable places for bumblebees to find flowers.

"Bumblebees need a continuous supply of flowers rich in nectar and pollen from April to September to ensure the survival of a nesting colony. Queen bumblebees emerge in the spring from hibernation and need to feed straight away.

"Plants such as flowering currant and lungwort are ideal for them then.

"After that, catmint and lavender help sustain the growing colony into early summer before ice-plant and heathers provide for it to completion.

"Bumblebees also need somewhere to nest.

"Long grass left uncut throughout the summer helps to provide opportunities for the queens to find a nest site."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 5, 2005
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