9 Jun 2010

Bumblebees die just before going to UK

7:20 am on 9 June 2010

New Zealand bumblebees that were part of a project to restore the species in Britain, have died.

The short-haired bumblebee was introduced to New Zealand from Britain in the early 1900s but is now extinct in its native country.

Six queen bumblebees were due to leave this country last week.

The bees were supplied by Plant & Food, which says their deaths have put the project back a year. Its scientists do not know why they died.

The bees were in clinical hibernation for the journey.

Plant & Food says another batch of bees will be sent next year.