Native Black Honeybees Rediscovered in Britain

Apr 18, 2012

Black honeybees, native to the UK have been found across the UK. Previously thought to be close to extinction, the species may hold the key to reversing colony collapse disorder.

The news is being heralded by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders' Association (BIBBA) as a positive step towards tackling colony collapse, as the native black bee appears to be better adapted to the British climate than it's more prevalent southern european cousins.

"There is a lot of anecdotal evidence among our 300 members that the survival rate is higher for black honeybees," said Terry Clare, president of Bibba. "They are hardier and have smaller populations going into winter, so they need less food to survive, and they also have fewer mouths to feed during a cold spring snap."

It is hoped that the government will look towards supporting a possible black bee queen breeding program as a way of strengthening the resilience of UK bee populations.

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