Bumblebees are not honeybees (although they do produce honey); they are the large, amiable, furry creatures about an inch long that, well, bumble about from flower to flower in England. We have something very similar (and even huger) in Maryland where I live, a place that is particularly blessed in flying insects, bees, pretend-bees, and things that will sting you as soon as look at you.
And it’s not only bumblebees that are endangered. In all, about fifty varieties of native bees in England have become extinct recently, and the reason is mostly the loss of hedgerows. A habitat for many species of plants, animals, and birds, these plantings were often centuries old, marking ancient land boundaries, and many have been destroyed by modern agribusiness. If you travel in the English countryside you can see the scars of hedgerows destroyed to make larger fields.
And now for the Regency tie-in. Well, there were a lot more flying critters around then. Surely someone has written an entomologist or beekeeper hero or heroine? Anyone got any good bee or bug stories?