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New bee species discovered, only six collected

Tochigi11 May (News about Japan– A potential new bee species has been identified by staff at the Tochigi Prefectural Museum, prompting a call for more specimens on social media after only six were initially collected.

Takashi Kurihara, chief researcher at Tochigi Prefectural Museum, expressed regret for not collecting more samples. “Everyone was surprised, it felt surreal. We thought collecting about six would be enough, but if we had known it was a new species we would definitely have collected more,” he said.

The bee, identified in 2021, is a species of stingless bee that does not harm humans. Its discovery in the spring, usually observed in the fall, prompted further research, leading to its classification as a new species.

Understanding the biology of insects can contribute to developments such as new medicines. However, as only six specimens had been collected, the museum turned to social media to request more information.

According to the museum, numerous valuable contributions have already been received, including images of the bee.

Due to the limited number of copies, they must be carefully preserved and can only be seen until June 30.

In July, the bee will be officially named “Shimotsukehiraashikibachi”.

Source: ANN

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