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Swedish bees a success in Britain

Published tisdag 17 september 2013 kl 16.08
"We had a very good summer and the bees responded"
(4:18 min)
The short-haired bumblebee. Photo: Nick Withers

Bee hives created by bumblebees imported from Sweden have been found by researchers in the English country of Kent. The bees have been taken from southern Sweden over the past couple of years in order to re-introduce the extinct short-haired bumblebee to the UK.

The controversial project first caused outrage on social media sites last year after the researchers were accused of taking the bees from Skåne without permission, but that misunderstanding was soon cleared up, as the project had all the required paperwork from the Swedish authorities.

And now, about one year later, the project is celebrating a milestone, the bumblebee queens have finally created new hives and hatched new worker bees.

Researcher Dr Nikki Gammans from the RSPB, who in charge of the project, says this year's dry summer may have helped the bees establish themselves, and adds that the project has provided much new knowledge about the species.

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