HAMPSHIRE MPs have joined a campaign to fight for the future of the bumble bee.

Alan Whitehead, Caroline Nokes and Chris Huhne signed a letter to the Government drawing attention to the “alarming decline” in bee numbers.

The fall has led to fears about the impact it could have on the environment, farmers and the economy because of bees’ vital position in the ecosystem.

Friends of the Earth, which is orchestrating the campaign, is calling for a National Bee Action Plan to save the threatened species.

The lobby group said that if bees disappeared it would cost British farmers at least £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops by hand and this would cause food prices to rocket.

Dr Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said: “I am extremely concerned about the rapid decline in British Bees. They’re not only an iconic part of our countryside, they play a vital role in pollinating our crops and flowers too.

“It’s great news that Friends of the Earth is creating a buzz about these crucially important insects – I’ll be doing all I can to help protect our bees in 2013.”

The action plan would ensure bees have enough plants to feed on and nest in  and work with farmers to reduce the use of chemicals that are killing the insects.

There are more than 250 species of bee in Britain.