M&S faces backlash over plan to release 30m honeybees

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High street chain’s farm project could put pressure on wild pollinators, warn conservationists

An attempt by Marks & Spencer to “do good for the environment” by releasing 30 million honeybees into the British countryside has backfired, with conservationists warning the initiative could damage ecosystems and deprive wild pollinators of valuable food sources.

The UK retailer has placed up to 1,000 beehives on 25 farms to produce single-estate honey for customers as part of its five-year Farming with Nature programme. The bees are in cedar beehives, many made in the 1930s, with plenty of nectar nearby, according to a company blog.

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