Wednesday, July 12, 2006


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.


MaggieMay said...

I think we already had a simlular problem in the States. Not entirely sure, but i kept reading somethig simular a few years back.

Mattawan72 said...

This is some really great stuff. Your research is amazing and you present it in such a professional way. Awesome job!

Anonymous said...

That's smart; bring in a non-native species. Then you'll have to exterminate the damn things when they take over and start crowding other species out.

It's not an animal problem, it's a human problem.

Snail said...

One of the problems with this is that European bumblebees have already been introduced to Tasmania, where they do very well. It's not going to take much for some unscrupulous (insert noun of choice here) to bring them over to the mainland.

Let's hope that the mainland farmers pressing for the introduction have more integrity.