European Honey Bee
Chequered Cuckoo Bee
|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Insects (Insecta)|
|Order:||Ant Bee Wasps (Hymenoptera)|
|Family:||Long-tongued Bee (Bee: Apidae)|
|Species:||European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)|
|This Photo:||New Colony|
|Other name:||Commercial Honey Bee|
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), in the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
Most people think of these insects in a positive light, but like all introduced species are an environmental headache and should be eradicated where possible. Please don't allow bee keepers to use your bush block for bees. Would you allow someone to plough your native vegetation to grow crops? European Bees are just as devastating, but the damage is hidden (eg using up precious hollows used by our birds and reptiles), spreading over many kilometres to neighbouring properties & reserves. Our native bees are also less aggressive and solitary (in SA).
If you thought all European Bees don't look alike, you'd be right. Peri Coleman said
"There are three main races of bees in Australia, and a very few of two other races. Main races used by bee keepers:
1. Italian (yellow banded): have 5 yellow bands, but the Ligurian sub-race has less than 5 yellow bands & have a yellow queen. The Ligurian bees of Kangaroo Island are a sub-race of Italian bees, and the early settlement bees were blackish coloured "Black Germans", but I don't know if any of these are still cultivated
2. Caucasian (bigger, grey): are dark grey, hardly banded at all, and have a long body
3. Carniolan (smallest): have creamy light bands which gives them a greyish look, and are smaller than Italians. They have a dark queen.
Quarantine in North Queensland keeps a close eye out for Asian honeybees as they are likely to bring in Nosema disease.
It is considered they are most likely to get here via shipping to a northern port or by island hopping from New Guinea."