Asian honeybees (Apis cerana - pictured below) are now pretty easy to see around Cairns, QLD, and recently I saw them daily as I’ve walked around Cairns city. A. cerana was accidentally introduced to Cairns in 2007, and despite a short-lived government funded eradication program that ended in early 2011, they have managed to do pretty well. Unfortunately that means Australia has them now for good...! Another invasive species to put pressure on Australian ecosystems and biodiversity (through things like competition with native species for floral resources and nest sites). Honeybee keepers in Australia are also concerned about the potential for a resident population of A. cerana to make honeybee pest and disease transmission more complicated to detect and manage. A few months ago, another incursion of A. cerana occurred, in Townsville, where authorities found a single colony on a ship in port. The colony was destroyed, along with the Varroa mites it was found to be harbouring. Varroa mites will not affect any of our native bee species, only introduced Apis mellifera and Apis cerana (it coexists with A. cerana, but kills or weakens A. mellifera colonies).
These are a collection of posts that have appeared on the Bee Aware Brisbane Facebook page over the last couple of years.