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What is the reason for large numbers of dead bees spotted in Inverness?


By Val Sweeney

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Large numbers of dead or dying bees have been spotted in Inverness.
Large numbers of dead or dying bees have been spotted in Inverness.

The sight of large numbers of dead bees spotted in Inverness is prompting speculation over the possible causes.

The spectacle of "hundreds" of dying or dead bees along the River Ness earlier this week led to a discussion on social media.

One woman, who observed them, queried whether the grass verge had been sprayed and said many other people had reported seen similar scenes in different areas.

Dead bees have been spotted by the River Ness.
Dead bees have been spotted by the River Ness.

But Highland Council said it had not done any spraying.

"While the council has strimmed grass slopes where it meets the pavement, we can confirm that spraying has not been carried out," a spokesman said.

It appears the cause behind the mass mortality could be down to the current changeable weather.

Scottish Government agency, NatureScot, states the sight of dead or dying bumble bees on the ground may be alarming but the phenomenon is fairly common and usually not related to human actions.

Natural causes can include cold weather, flooding and parasites, it states in its guidance on bumble bees.

A spokeswoman for NatureScot said the agency had not received any report of dead bees in Inverness.

"We have checked with our insect specialists and they did note the weather has been very changeable, so it may be that some bees are getting caught out and getting damp and cold," she said.


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