British Bees 'backpacked' to find out why numbers declining so rapidly

British scientists concerned at the rapid decline in bumblebee numbers want to track their movements to get a greater understanding of their behaviour.

The bumblebee in flight

The bumblebee in flight Image by Swallowtail Garden Seeds / CC BY 2.0

To do so, ecologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London have attached miniature "backpacks" with superglue onto the backs of the bees.

The Evening Standard reported that the experts chilled the insects for 10 minutes so that they could be fitted out.

The experts hope that the devices will yield them vital information so that they can gain deeper insights into the threats the bees face.

Scientists will also be able to get a better understanding in the crucial role they have in pollinating crops.

Dr Sarah Barlow, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, said this venture opened up the possibility of being able to track the insects in the landscape.

The device contains microchips and small aerials which it is claimed are "far superior" to previous technology which was limited in its range of feedback.

The technology has already been given trials at Kew’s Quarantine House.

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