Back in April of this year, the ISW posted about efforts in Australia to legalize importation of the European bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) for use as greenhouse pollinators. Now The Independent is reporting that a recent similar study in Britain concluded that commercially introduced European bumblebees could indeed survive on their own if they escape into the British wilds. The authors of the study note that the commercial bumblebees (subspecies of B. terrestris, which is one of 25 species of bumblebees considered native to Britain) tended to be better at finding nectar than native bees, and even more alarming, were better at establishing new colonies. There is also concern that the commercial bumblebees will hybridize with native British species.
An abstract to the upcoming research article by Ings et al. can be found here.