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The short-haired bumblebee project’s summary of 2015 and plans for 2016

By Nikki Gammans, Sub-T Project Manager

In May 2015 the project undertook its fourth trip to Sweden to collect emerging queens and then completed the release in June, after two weeks of quarantine. The project is now planning its fifth Swedish queen collection and release for 2016. This will mark the end of our first stage of releases. In 2016 we will focus on analysing the genetics of the workers. We will be attempting to obtain faecal samples of the workers by placing them in a sterile tube and waiting up to ten minutes until they defecate. The faecal sample can then be analysed for DNA and compared to the queens released in that year to determine whether they are workers from the year’s release, or previous years. We will review our aims for the project going forward ie do we need to complete more releases in South Kent to help establish a population, or would it be possible to extend the release to elsewhere in Kent.

Short-haired Bumblebee queen (Bombus subterraneus)








Short-haired bumblebee queen (Bombus subterraneus) in Sweden