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UK researchers: 'we have a permit for the bees'

UK researchers: 'we have a permit for the bees'

Published: 29 Apr 2012 17:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Apr 2012 19:51 GMT+02:00

The research team behind the project to translocate a 100 short-haired bumblebees in a bid to re-establish a population in the UK, has insisted that it has the full backing of the Swedish authorities despite widespread criticism.

"We have worked with the Swedish authorities every step of the way on this project and have only acted with the proper permissions," said Nik Shelton at the UK conservationist group the RSPB told The Local on Sunday.

The media attention afforded the project in both the UK and in Sweden over the weekend prompted an angry response from environmentalists and local officials who voiced concerns over the future of the species in the country.

Anneli Johansson, environmental director at the County Administrative Board in Skåne, the body ultimately responsible for the issue, condemned the project before later conceding that the board had in fact approved the UK team's plans.

Johansson explained on Sunday that she had been informed by her staff that the British researchers were indeed in possession of all the required permits.

"According to what I have learned here this morning then all permissions for this British group are in order," she told the TT news agency.

Johansson's negative disposition towards the project remained unchanged however and several commentators continued on Sunday to demand more clarification on the ethics and sustainability of the project.

"I have not seen the documents yet. But I still think it sounds inappropriate. The bumblebee is a very sensitive creature which we have to protect," she said.

Nik Shelton told The Local that the team took steps to ensure that the population in Skåne was significant enough to carry out the project.

"Of course we would never embark on any project that would put a wild species in danger, wherever in the world it may be, and that is why we sought full assurances from the Swedish authorities that there was a large enough population in Skåne."

Entomologist Björn Cederberg at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has acted as a Sweden consultant for the British project.

"I was also negative at first, but then it turned out that these researchers were serious and wanted to do this correctly," he told TT.

The project has been approved by the Swedish Board of Agriculture and Cederberg is hopeful that if successful may prove as a model for the translocation of other endangered species.

He welcomed the uproar, expressing a hope that "other threats to bumblebees are also given attention through this".

Nik Shelton also welcomed the discussion and invited those within the field who had expressed concerns to discuss the matter.

"We look forward to speaking to anyone in the area who has concerns and hopefully we can set their minds fully at rest."

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:20 April 29, 2012 by oldonpalouse
The media are so helpful and always get their facts correct before releasing stories!

Good lord!
18:25 April 29, 2012 by skogsbo
yeah, so true, nothing like a bit of thorough research before going to press!!
18:30 April 29, 2012 by redblue
@oldonpalouse What precisely was incorrect in the story you refer to?
19:02 April 29, 2012 by Frobobbles
Hey, do you have permit for that humblebee?
19:15 April 29, 2012 by johan rebel
Widespread criticism? I bet there are at least 9.45 million people in Sweden who couldn't care less!
20:14 April 29, 2012 by BritVik
And probably about the same number of worker bees! But then, they know how to beehive themselves, don't they?

Anyway, the queens could have flown over on their own if the worst came to the worst.
22:22 April 29, 2012 by blue2012
There are million of bees in Sweden and some people in official capacity are worried about 100 bees?
22:33 April 29, 2012 by byke
I would have thought that finding an abundance of queens in Sweden would be easy.
23:07 April 29, 2012 by libertarianism
What happened to the 60 queens they took last year?
07:24 April 30, 2012 by Soft Boiled
I want a licence for my pet bee, he´s called Eric.

A one... two-- A one... two... three... four...

Half a bee, philosophically,

Must, ipso facto, half not be......
11:48 April 30, 2012 by Frobobbles
I have a piece of information from my friend who works as a clerk at the foreign office. Sweden has made a secret deal with UK: 100 bees in exchange for Julian Assange. Julian will be delivered to Sweden in two weeks, after the 50 first bees have been transported to the british isle.
00:44 May 1, 2012 by DAVID T
Anneli Johansson loves to rub honey in her cunny
16:44 May 4, 2012 by bpl301@gmail.com
Pappa can you expalin?

by Brian Patrick Lawrence Pappa, pappa can you explain to me, Why oh why can a bumble bee fly? His wings are too small, And his bodies so big and all, So why and how can a bumblebee fly? My child, why oh why can a bumble bee fly? Yes his wings are far too small and his bodies so big and all. Hmm, oh me! How can the bumble bee possibly fly? Mamma can explain why the bumble bee flies. Well my child for me, This is no longer a mystery, you cannot possibly see, Why oh why the wonderful bumble bee, With his wings too small, Yes and his body too big and all, Can possibly fly, The bumble bee he just flies and flies, By simply not asking mummy why.

In 1934, French entomologist Antoine Magnan included the following passage in the introduc on to his book Le Vol des Insectes: First prompted by what is done in avia on, I applied the laws of air re- sistance to insects, and I arrived, with Mr. Sainte-Laguë, at this conclus- ion that their flight is impossible. Magnan refers to his assistant André Sainte-Laguë, a mathema cian.
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