Short-haired bumblebee to be re-introduced

Published: 21 June 2009

A new project is underway to re-introduce the Short-haired bumblebee back into the UK.

The Short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) was last recorded in the UK in 1988. However, it is doing well in New Zealand. In fact, it was introduced to New Zealand from Britain around 100 years ago as one of four species used to pollinate clover.

Now, habitat restoration in Kent has been so successful that a reintroduction of this bee is planned. The project proposes to collect around 100 young queen bees in New Zealand and then fly them back to the UK in 2010. The bees will then be released in Dungeness, Kent, where they were last recorded.

The project is set up by Natural England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), RSPB and Hymettus.

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