Short Haired Bumblebees. The story so far.

Obviously this isn’t the usual suspect under discussion on this site but I think the plight of all bee species is particularly important because what affects one species can affect many. The Short Haired Bumblebee being a good example.

The Guardian published an article today highlighting the progress and the problems associated with the reintroduction of this formerly extinct species back into the UK. The chosen site is Dungeness and the Romney Marshes in Kent.

What puzzled me most though was the bureaucratic stupidity applied to reintroductions of formerly extinct species. People gladly import all manner of plants and, pertinent to our interests, bees from all around the world without restrictions or very few if any, yet try to bring back a former resident and from one of the most import restricted places on the planet and you meet with a brick wall. Hence the death of the Queens from New Zealand whilst in immigration control (quarantine). How stupid is that? If we are to control the introduction of any species and particularly control the introduction of invasive species then at least let us do it properly. If its good enough for a handful of Queen’s of the Short Haired Bumblebee to be held up in quarantine then its damned well good enough for varroa infected honeybees, or Chalara fraxinus infected Ash trees. The list of invasive species incidentally is quite frightening.

On Saturday I became aware that if you go to mainland EU countries you can happily bring back plant samples without any quarantine controls being required let alone imposed. Now that really is stupid. If we are going to preserve biodiversity in the UK then it has to include not only conservation efforts on the mainland but stricter controls on the borders. What would the point be of reintroducing an extinct species if we then allow the unlicensed and uncontrolled introduction of something that will kill it or its habitat? The argument that is used to justify lax border controls is always economic growth and bottom line profits of the corporations. But without a viable and sustainable environment we may as well not exist at all. The Cree Indians knew a thing or too about money and what its not worth. I personally know a thing or two about ecosystems but probably not as much as the Cree Indians.

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