Around 50 of the healthiest were released at the RSPB’s Dungeness reserve in Kent, close to where they were last recorded living wild in the UK in 1988.
It is hoped they will create new colonies, feeding off the red clover flowers in the area and expand into other parts of the country.
Dr Nikki Gammans, the project officer, said that reintroducing species into the UK had worked in the past with the red kite and the large blue butterfly.
”It’s a really exciting new scientific procedure, something which hadn’t been attempted before with bumble bees,” she told BBC Breakfast.
The short-haired bee population declined rapidly over the space of 60 years because of habitat loss. But a healthy population lives in the southern Swedish province of Skane.