In 1884, 282 hibernating bumblebees travelled on a ship from London to New Zealand. Only 48 survived the journey. Those were the first bumblebees to take flight in the country. They had been shipped over at the request of British settlers, who needed British insects to pollinate the red clover imported from their homeland. Nearly 130 years later, bumblebees thrive in New Zealand.
Back in the UK, bees are not doing so well. It is now common knowledge that populations are declining across Europe and the USA. If this continues, the consequences for humans will be catastrophic, largely due to bees’ role in crop pollination. Numerous articles and documentaries have explored this decline,