Saturday, 5 May 2012

How UK's humble bee project led to Swedish outrage

It all sounded so promising when UK scientists announced "exciting" plans to collect 100 bees from Sweden.
The bombus subterraneus or short-haired bumblebee has been extinct in Britain for a quarter of a century.
Conservationists planned to travel to Skåne province, in southern Sweden, to collect bumblebee queens for release in a Kent nature reserve.
But a "misunderstanding" led to Swedes reacting in anger to the plans to take their bees.
The international argument is now thought to have been resolved but how did it happen in the first place?
The project to reintroduce bees to Britain involves Natural England, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, RSPB and Hymettus - an insect conservation charity.

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