SPECIAL efforts are being made to try and help Worcestershire's bee population.

In a review by Friends of the Earth, it was discovered that bees are facing possible extinction due to a lack of new habitats.

Alarmingly, 97% of vital grasslands have been lost in the past 60 years.

As part of its Environment Policy, Worcestershire County Council is contributing to a number of projects to provide and maintain bee friendly habitats.

The projects include the Roadside Verge Nature Reserves and more traditional orchard restoration projects – which help to produce nectar foods for bees.

The traditional orchard project, which involves the planting of new trees and managing older trees, helps to provide a rich source of pollen for the bees in early season.

The council has also been active in promoting the use of 'bee hotels' - a home for bees which actively encourages them to produce honey. This honey can then be bought via the Countryside shop.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, cabinet member with responsibility for environment, said: "It is imperative that we help to sustain the environment and keep a healthy population of bees.

"The council is committed to helping maintain areas of unspoilt countryside such as orchards and meadows, under its Environmental Policy to ensure that trees and animals can co-exist without the intervention of manmade insecticides or technologies.

"I think it is very important to act now to help with the pollination of crops and plant life for the benefit of future generations in Worcestershire."