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Detail of outcome
Natural England has reviewed the responses to the consultation on the licensing of the release of non native bumblebees for the purposes of crop pollination and research.
See the business engagement assessment for details of the findings.
Due to both the accepted risks associated with non native bumblebees and the switch by many growers to use native (British) commercial bumblebees, Natural England is proposing to not re-issue a grower class licence which permits growers in England to release non native bumblebees.
The current licence expires on 31 December 2014. This change will not affect or place any restrictions on the use of commercial native pollination bumblebees.
We believe that as native bumblebees are commercially available as an alternative to non natives, it is now appropriate to consider proposals for release of non native bumblebees on a case-by-case basis, rather than permit releases through a class licence. If growers wish to continue to release non native bumblebees they will need to apply to Natural England for an individual licence for this activity.