Fugitive Turkish bee condemned to death by government sparks international row


Dr Jerome Rozen, from the American Museum of Natural History, said they “probably” contained fertilised eggs.

“They need to have their head examined if they’re going to destroy the brood chambers,” he told The Daily Telegraph. We need to have a proper look at them to get to the bottom of this.”

The saga is now being covered as far away as Nigeria.

A solitary species of Mason bee, Osmia avosetta is rare in constructing sacks out of petals and mud, stocking them with food and nectar, then sealing and burying them in the earth to allow the larvae to grow over winter.

Dr Rozen made zoological history when he discovered the bees 5,000 feet up a remote southern Turkish mountain in 2009.

He urged Defra officials to preserve the colourful brood chambers, if only to establish whether the bee is Osmia Avosetta or something else.

“If it has made a brood chamber then it’s likely it contains larvae,” he said.

“Normally you would expect a bee to emerge from it sometime next year.”

Defra said APHA had secured the brooding sacks and would take them to a laboratory before deciding what to do next.


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