A rare bee was discovered in Bristol, United Kingdom after a family accidently brought it back from Turkey in their luggage. When it was first discovered, the Independent reports, the U.K. government effectively sentenced the bee to death due to the threat it poses to local wildlife. Believed to be from the osmia avosetta species of mason bee, which is only found in Iran and Turkey, the winged insect has now escaped.
The British Beekeepers Association said the bee could have a "devastating effect" on the population of British bees, while the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs announced it would capture and kill the bee. On Tuesday, however, the family who discovered the bee in their luggage said it had absconded on Tuesday before anyone could capture and kill it. This is reportedly the first time this species has been discovered in the U.K.
After the family came back from their holiday in Turkey, the bee had built a cocoon made of petals in their conservatory. "Every morning it comes in when we open the door," Amelia Toy told the Daily Mail of her discovery. "Then it goes in and out, in and out. I've never seen anything like it before." The Animal and Plant Health Agency plans to collect the numerous cocoons the bee made for DNA testing.
"We are taking prompt action to collect any cocoons from the house which will be then assessed by experts," APHA said in a statement. "We continue to work with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors to monitor the situation."