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Humble bumble bees

Duration: 01:04

Every time you bite into a cheese and tomato sandwich, it's likely you have a bumblebee to thank. Without them, most of Britain's tomatoes would wither on the vine. The secret is in the buzz. When a bumblebee visits a flower it disengages its wings and runs its flight muscles in neutral, becoming the perfect vibrator and knocking pollen off. Glasshouses were built to exclude insects, but the success of the hi-tech multi million pound tomato farms relies on bringing them back in. Every year 2.5 million bees are set to work in these glasshouses to make tomatoes for our consumption.

Available since: Fri 11 Jul 2014

This clip is from

The Nature of Britain Farmland

2/8 Series on British wildlife, presented by Alan Titchmarsh.

First broadcast: 17 Oct 2007

Image for Farmland Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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