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Bombus terrestris

Basic information
Scientific name Bombus terrestris

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Common names Bumblebee
Higher taxon Apidae, Apoidea, Hymenoptera
Natural range Europe.
Habitat Nesting in old burrows made by rodents.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Established in entire Hokkaido.
In several other prefectures, there have been records of observation and nesting.
Range in Japan
Origin Imported from Netherland, Belgium, etc.
Date Imported since 1992. The first record of feral nest in Japan was in 1996 at Monbetsu, Hokkaido.
Route Deliberate: Escape from agricultural use for pollination (greenhouse tomato, etc.).
Impact Competition (for nesting sites and plant use) with and reproductive interference to native Bombus. Inter-specific copulation with some native species result in inviable offsprings. Prohibition of pollination of some native plants by nectar robbing. Having parasitic mite (Locustacarus buchneri).
Native organism(s) affected: There are several native Bombus in Hokkaido. Several plants pollinated by native bumblebees (e.g., Corydalis ambigua).
Regulation in Japan Import, transport and keeping are prohibited in Japan by the Invasive Alien Species Act. Agricultural use in Japan is permitted only in greenhouses with prevention of escaping by covering apertural part using net.
Introduced range in other countries North America, Oceania, Israel, etc.
Reference Notes
  • DECO (ed) (2006) Dictionary of Alien Species. Tokyo-Shoseki, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Dohzono et al. (2008) Alien bumble bee affects native plant reproduction through interactions with native bumble bees. Ecology. 89(11), 3082-3092.
  • Ecol Soc Jpn (ed) (2002) Handbook of Alien Species in Japan. Chijinshokan, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Goka et al. (2000) Parasitic mites infestation in introduced colonies of European bumblebees, Bombus terrestris. Jpn J Appl Entomol Zool. 44, 47-50 (in Jpn with Englis abst)
  • Goka et al. (2001) Bumblebee commercialization will cause worldwide migration of parasitic mites. Mol Ecol. 10, 2095-2099.
  • JWRC (ed) (2008) A Photographic Guide to the Invasive Alien Species in Japan. Heibonsha, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Kanbe et al. (2008) Interspecific mating of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the native Japanese bumblebee Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis results in inviable hybrids. Naturwissenschaften. 95(10), 1003-1008.
  • Matsumoto et al. (2005) Reconfirmation of open-field activity of the alien bumblebee Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan and issues for estimating invasion status of alien bumblebee. Jpn J Conserv Ecol. 10, 201-202 (in Jpn)
  • Muranaka & Ishihama (eds) (2010) Ecology of Introduced Organisms - Adaptive Evolution into New Environments and Possible Counter Measures -. Bun-ichi Sogo Shuppan, Tokyo (in Jpn)
  • Univ. Tokyo & Natl. Inst. Informat (2008-2011) Seiyou Status: Participatory Monitoring for Invasive Alien Species (Accessed on 2012-3-13)
  • Yoneda et al. (2007) Preventing Bombus terrestris from escaping with a net covering over a tomato greenhouse in Hokkaido. Jpn J Appl Zool Entomol. 51, 39-44 (in Jpn)
  • etc.
100 of the Japan's Worst Invasive Alien Species

A Japanese species B. ignitis has become popular for agricultural use, instead of B. terrestris.
In Hokkaido, there is a monitoring activity for this species and native bumblebees by a citizen network.