1 Jun 2013

More bees being brought to England

12:30 pm on 1 June 2013

More short-haired bumblebees are to be reintroduced to the countryside in Kent. The species was once widespread across the south of England, but vanished in 1988.

Last year, 50 queens were collected in southern Sweden and released onto a nature reserve at Dungeness.

More short-haired bumblebees, currently in quarantine to check for parasites, are due to join them on Monday.

The loss of the short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) was caused by the dramatic decline of wildflower meadows that occurred after World War II as agriculture intensified.

The BBC reports an estimated 97% of grasslands, which bees need to forage and thrive, have vanished over the past 70 years.