At the end of this interesting article about bumblebees from the Japan Times, there is a brief discussion of the fact that European bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) were introduced to Japan in the early 1990s for the pollination of tomato plants. They escaped in the mid 1990s, and since then the aggressive insects have been suspected of outcompeting native species for food and shelter. They can also hybridize with the native B. hypocrita. Japanese companies are now apparently trying to breed native bumblebee species for commercial use.
Post a Comment