British researchers may eliminate a whole breed of bumblebees in Skåne, the southern part of Sweden. The researchers want to take out 100 queen bees and move them into England in order to reintroduce the extinct short-haired bumblebee (“vallhumla” in Swedish).

“If they succeed, we will barely have any left,” says Skåne’s environmental director Annelie Johansson. In English media this is good news: The short-haired bumblebee is going to be re-introduced by removing 100 queen bees from Sweden, and the project has many supporters.
“We will go on Sunday and I will keep you updated on how things develop,” one researcher twittered.
In Sweden, the news aren’t exactly as thrilling.


“The short-haired bumblebee is already getting rare. If they take our 100 queens, we risk getting into the same situation as in England, where the breed has become extinct,” Johansson continues. Still, as the short-haired bumblebee is not yet endangered in Sweden, nothing can legally stop the British researchers. “All we can do is to try to plead with them, and make them see how inappropriate it is to do this, as it may lead to the bee becoming extinct here too.” Biologist Lars-Åke Janzon, recently retired from Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (the Swedish Museum of Natural History), is of the opinion that people in Skåne should do more than plead with the Brits:
“They are no longer the masters of the world they were before when all they did was go everywhere taking things. Now they have to show respect to the country they visit.” He thinks the British researchers show poor morals and believes that the project should be reviewed by England’s equivalent of Vetenskapsrådet (the Research Council).

A very special moment according to for instance British The Guardian - Scientists will travel to Sweden to collect 100 bumblebee queens and release them in Kent... but maybe not so special for Sweden.