Wednesday, 5 June 2013

'Extinct' short-haired bumblebees due to be released

4 June 2013 | By Olivia Midgley

AN EXTINCT species of British bumble is set to make a comeback in Kent.

Experts have spent two weeks collecting short-haired bumblebees from farmland in southern Sweden and this week they will be reintroduced to the RSPB’s reserve at Dungeness.

The last confirmed sighting of the species was in 1988.

The project, backed by Natural England, RSPB, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Hymettus, began last year with an initial pilot reintroduction which followed four years of work with local farmers to create the ideal wildflower habitat for bumblebees across Romney Marsh and Dungeness.

Conservationists said the move is a ‘sign of hope’ for all the UK’s bumblebees.

Of the 25 native species in the UK seven are declining and two are extinct - one of which is the short-haired bumblebee.

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