News Report

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Demand for biofuel in US hits bee numbers

Episode 160517 / 17 May 2016

Step 1: Listen

You're going to hear a genuine BBC news report. Before you listen, read these three summaries:

1. Wild bees in the US are being turned into biofuel.

2. An increase in growing corn in the US has led to a decline in the number of bees. 

3. The number of wild bees in the US has fallen by a quarter. 

Step 2: Learn the key words and listen again

How was that? Try listening again. Here are three definitions of key vocabulary items which may help you.

boom
major increase

biofuels
fuel made from living things

abundance
large quantity 

Step 3: Transcript and answer

A new study suggests the number of wild bees in the United States has declined in many farming areas because of a boom in biofuels.

The report says that over five years up to 2013, the abundance of wild bees fell across almost a quarter of the US as land was converted to grow corn for ethanol.

Answer

2. An increase in growing corn in the US has led to a decline in the number of bees.

This bulletin comes from BBC World Service Radio.

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