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Bumblebee researchers 'threatened' by bee fans

The Local/og · 3 May 2012, 16:26

Published: 03 May 2012 16:26 GMT+02:00

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“It’s just sad what’s happened. No one wanted to kill me, but I got threatened to keep away,” said Doctor Nikki Gammans to Sveriges Radio (SR).

“One person said ‘stop this girl at any cost,’” Gammans told the TT news agency.

Gammans belongs to a group of researchers who plan to collect 100 queen short-haired bumblebees in the hope of reintroducing them in England.

The group had previously received the green light from Swedish agriculture authorities and on Thursday the County Administrative Board in Skåne also agreed to let the project move forward.

Nik Shelton of the UK conservationist group the RSPB previously told The Local that the team took steps to ensure that the population in Skåne was significant enough to carry out the project.

However, the team has been caught in a media buzz ever since their mission was revealed, with bee enthusiasts Sweden-wide upset that the insects’ population was endangered and could face extinction.

It was initially believed that the researchers were acting without permission from Sweden; however, it soon came to light that Swedish authorities had indeed given the go-ahead, and are supporting the project.

“We are very positive about the project after the information we received today following a meeting with the British research team, and we are confident that this cannot do any damage to the Scanian population of Nuevo Bumblebee,” said Anneli Johansson, environmental director at the County Administrative Board in Skåne, to SR.

The researchers intend to take the bees from two areas; between Landskrona and Lund, and from Trelleborg to Ystad, all in the south of Sweden.

Story continues below…

The short-haired bumblebee population has shrunk considerably in recent years and is now largely extinct in much of central Europe.

A previous British attempt to reintroduce the species with the help of bees from New Zealand in 2009 failed when all the bees died while in quarantine.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:46 May 3, 2012 by JulieLou40
You'd have to be mental to be a "bee enthusiast"....get a grip, people!
17:06 May 3, 2012 by gpafledthis
Remember 793 !! Bend over sweedies take your "reviking" turn about is fair play !!
18:11 May 3, 2012 by muscle
Yes it does sound stupid to be a Bee enthusiast.. but then again, it IS their right to protect whatever they want.. after all it is the resource of Sweden.

I am actually happy that the sweds want to protect their resources. We, the people from asian countries, didnt complain much when it the Brits came and took away stuff from Pakistan, China and India.. and now we act stupidly and try to re-acclaim the lost artifacts.

If the researchers from UK want to perform their research, they should collaborate with the institutes in Sweden and perform the research HERE. The new clones or produced bees can then be sent to UK. But why take the resources from Sweden and take it to UK?
18:54 May 3, 2012 by J Jack
UK should revise their quarantine rules to prevent further beenocide.
19:35 May 3, 2012 by calebian22
Typical environmental activists. Morons. The Brits are trying to repopulate an extinct species, have all the correct permissions, but idiots with Swedish high school educations know better. And they call Americans, arrogant know it alls.
20:19 May 3, 2012 by libertarianism
I like to think of the bee-searchers and the bee-activists and everyone involved really, including TL staff and posters, the royal family, its monkey, its satanist subjects, and the knife-weilding six-year-old, all wearing humblebee (as someone insisted) costumes. Somehow life seems happier that way.
20:26 May 3, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Ever had bumblebees build a hive in your chimney...?

No..? Well a typical answer from companies such as Anticimex is to visit your home and exterminate the thousands or so bees in the hive, so that you are spared further trouble.

Multiply that by the thousands or so homes that may have this problem every year, and I think the removal of some bees to the UK (where you are probably not allowed to kill them so casually) is rather a good idea
22:23 May 3, 2012 by Douglas Garner
If we consider the bigger picture... as the bees are critical in crop production, saving bee species is about preventing OUR extinction. The bee activists should actually be happy and willing to assist in the effort. This is a reintroduction of the species to England... they killed it off and are trying to correct the problem! Let's give them some credit!!!
23:55 May 3, 2012 by Glorius

Theres a difference between a common beehive, and a BUMBLEbee queen ;)

One striking difference is that one is common while the other is apparently quite rare.

If you're gonna try and state a point atleast make it relevant. :)

And hats off to the brittish scientist that are trying to reintroduce the specie.
00:33 May 4, 2012 by muscle
I dont understand... why the researchers can not perform their research of producing the extinct bees here in sweden. After all if Sweden still has them, it means the climate still supports their survival here. So let the research come here rather than taking it and trying to get it reproduced where it got extinct!
00:45 May 4, 2012 by mcarroll1
Without the bee mankind will die. The bees pollenate every plant. Thats why they produce flowers - not for your pleasure but to attract the bee who pollenates the plants allowing them to reproduce.No plants, animals or vegetables - what to eat then, We need the bee to be as widely distributed throughout the world as possible. So in future if Sweden's bee population dies out due to some disease as they have in the past in the UK they may be reintroduced from the UK perhaps and perhaps from bees taken there from Sweden. Ignorance is a terrible thing.
08:05 May 4, 2012 by RobinHood
Hang these limey bee thieves from a hive. Kidnapping innocent bees and taking them to an evil foreign country is nothing short of bee genocide. These rapacious colonialist capitalists will want Swedish bees on the Malvinas next. Good, decent Swedish bees have a right to remain Swedish as long as they wish. Remember this: first they will come for the bees, then they will come for the hedgehogs. Then they will come for the elks. Finally, they will come for Princess Estelle.

Toss these English bee thieves into the sea and let then swim home, but check they haven't stolen any fine Swedish fish on the way out.
09:02 May 4, 2012 by Grumpkin
@TheLocal considering that this paper fuelled the debate and published unverified facts from TT without hesitation, how about admitting some guilt in the matter? The "bee fanatics" would NOT have been so angered if they hadn't suddenly been reading articles in most of the major news papers claiming the brits' research was unethical and should be stopped, with quotes from highly positioned officials and biologists.

Simply calling it a "media buzz" is far from an apology and still pushes the blame onto the public and some outraged individuals acting on inflammatory information YOU helped spread.

Perhaps you should learn from this, too, and keep up to date with the issue as it evolves. This is only the second article posted in the matter by you guys, the information in the original article was questioned and proven false already the same day it was published five days ago! I had to rely on Flashback (horrid place) to gather updates about the issue. When Flashback gives a better and more nuanced version of the news than your paper, some introspection is surely called for!
09:12 May 4, 2012 by Frobobbles
Stop that Beatrix Potter Babbity Bumble nonsense!

"Hence we may infer as highly probable that, if the whole genus of humble-bees became extinct or very rare in England, the heartsease and red clover would become very rare, or wholly disappear." Charles Darwin
09:55 May 4, 2012 by engagebrain

you seem seriously ignorant and seem to have major chip on your shoulder about Britain.

With the full approval of the Swedish authorities 100, out of a total population probably in at least the tens or hundreds of thousands, will be used to reestablish the population in the UK. It is a simple process and there is no need for any complicated cloning or joint research projects. May be in 50 years when the Swedish population becomes extinct they will repopulate Sweden from a thriving UK population.
14:25 May 4, 2012 by NordicCrown
@ Glorius

You should read the point made about bees in chimneys - it most certainly IS relevant that very many queen bumblebees die along with the rest of the colony, when 'pest control' guys are called out to deal with the problem of bees building hives in chimneys (had the problem myself in THREE out of the last FOUR years)

Would be preferable to remove them to where they are wanted!
14:49 May 4, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
# NordicCrown

Thanks for your words of support - theres only one thing worse than 'bees in the chimney' and thats a 'bee in the bonnet'

16:14 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.
11:53 May 5, 2012 by Calidris

This is not about countries owning or taking anything. It is about the existence of a race of bees. Unfortunately we in Britain have lost ours, whether through neglect, climate change or introduction of alien predators or sheer stupidity - but we are willing to support the re-establishment of the species here. So from a keen naturalist in Britain - please can we have some of your bees on loan to found a new British colony - we will pay you back one day. Alternatively, would you please donate some queens to New Zealand, were we exported these bees, their gene pool is so inbred that the bees that NZ gave us could not survive the journey home.

I notice that you have a healthy excess of wolves - we don't want any of those thankyou, looks like you will have to carry on culling them.

12:31 May 5, 2012 by Max Reaver
this news is so friggin hilarious, it's the the kingdom of sweden has no important news to report. each day i see news like "man beats wife", "wife beats husband", "a man gets fined for speeding", blablabla. why don't u guys visit TheLocal pages for Switzerland, they got financial news, corporation news, more life-changing information than what's posted on the Swedish news page. And on that page, nobody trolls on the comments page bcos nobody leaves comments! sweden needs to get serious, for sure.
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