Short-haired bumblebees buzz back from extinction

Once extinct in the UK, short-haired bumblebees are thriving in Kent thanks to a three-year-long project

The short-haired bumblebee has successfully nested in the UK for the first time in 25 years, thanks to a reintroduction project by conservationists.

One of Britain’s 27 native bumblebee species, the short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) had not been recorded in the UK since 1988 and was declared extinct from the country in 2000.

The Short-haired Bumblebee Project, funded by Natural England, the RSPB, Hymettus, and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, collected queen bees from a healthy population in Sweden and released them in June to RSPB Dungeness in Kent, the same site where the bumblebees were last seen a quarter of a century ago.

One month later, young worker bees were discovered; evidence that the queens had successfully nested. “The first offspring worker bees are the first step towards a viable, self-sustaining population,” said Nik Shelton from the RSPB.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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