Short-haired bee makes comeback

Extinct Bombus subterraneus bee reintroduced successfully in England

There’s a little good news for the beleaguered bee population: A project to reintroduce an extinct (except in New Zealand) bee known as the short-haired bumblebee—or Bombus subterraneus—to the United Kingdom has resulted in success.

Bee experts have confirmed that released short-haired-bumblebee queens have nested and produced babies in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ Dungeness reserve in Kent, England, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

Until recently, the last sighting of a Bombus subterraneus bee in England occurred in 1988. The species “began to decline in the second half of the 20th century as wildflower-rich grassland … was lost to intensively farmed land.”