It has been called “a minor sensation” by the Norwegian Nature Agency.
For the first time in more than 50 years, two specimens of the ulcerated masked bee – which got its name because of a bump (tumor) around the breast – have been found in the wild in Denmark.
The rare insect has been found in Gribskov, one of the country’s largest forests, located in northern Zealand. It was last seen in 1971.
Part of a mapping project
“I walked in an area that consisted mostly of shady forest. There were quite a few masquerade bees of different sizes around the flowers, and I collected a handful of them,” explained biologist Hjalte Kjærby about the find.
“One of them turned out to be the vulsed masked bee – that was a big surprise!”
Kjærby is one of a group of biologists who, half a year ago, set out on a mission to map 20 forests for the Norwegian Nature Agency.
Testament to their efforts
The discovery testifies to the Norwegian Nature Agency’s hard work to restore biodiversity in Denmark’s forests. The effort has included the construction of ditches, and the mission has already uncovered a primeval forest in the Stenderup forests near Kolding.
“The vast majority of state forests are planted with production in mind,” says Jens Bjerregaard Christensen, the Norwegian Forest Agency’s forest officer.
“In the past few years, they have been driven in a more natural direction, and the discovery of the rare vulsed masquerade bee in Gribskov testifies that in many places a good starting point has been created for several rare and endangered species.”
Source: The Nordic Page