New Zealand has no native bumblebees or honeybees (which live in colonies) but we do have several species of native bee that live in individual holes in clay banks.
Bumblebees of various species were introduced to New Zealand from England but the short-haired bumblebee pictured below, is the rarest here. They were brought to New Zealand from England over 120 years ago to pollinate red clover.
These particular bees are now extinct in England and UK conservation groups have announced a programme to create a secure home on farms in southeast England and then start a captive breeding programme using bees from New Zealand.
Bees will be caught in Central Otago in the South Island and will wake up in England after being flown back in cool boxes during their winter zzzzz’s (aka hibernation).
Interesting thought that they’ll be repatriated after hundreds (thousands??) of generations here. I wonder if other breeds of local English bees will look down on them as backwater colonials and quietly mock their accents?