The nation’s allotments are providing a vital sanctuary for bees, it has been claimed.

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Allotments offer the best habitats for bees, according to the results of the first Great British Bee Count.

But parks and roadside verges need improving to make them more bee-friendly, the report warned.

More than 23,000 people used an app to log sightings of 832,000 bees during a 12-week project this summer.

Allotments came top, offering the type of habitat where the highest number of bees were seen per count: an average of 12 compared to the countryside (10), garden (8), school grounds (7), park (7) and roadside (4).

Yellow and black bumble bees were the most spotted type of bee in all regions, with 304,857 sightings.

Honey bees were the second most seen in all regions (193,837) with 42 per cent seen in rural areas, 30 per cent in suburbs and 28 per cent in urban plots.

Despite numbers counted, scientists warned that British bees are in “serious decline” with 71 out of our 267 species under threat, and more than 20 already extinct.

Bee expert Professor Dave Goulson said the survey “highlighted the importance of allotments in providing essential habitats for bees that pollinate home-grown fruit and veg”.

But he called for less mowing and more wildflowers along road verges, to benefit pollinators.