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Have You Seen a Bumblebee
on the Australian Mainland?

An Australian Native Bee Research Centre Update

Please help us keep exotic bumblebees out of mainland Australia! Be on the lookout for bumblebees (click here for descriptions and photos) and report any sightings to local authorities (contact details below).

Keeping the Australian mainland free of bumblebees will require much vigilance. Feral European bumblebees are now widespread in both New Zealand and Tasmania. It is quite easy for bumblebee queens to hitch a ride to the Australian mainland on a ship or a plane.

In May 2003, a bumblebee queen was caught on Appleton dock in Melbourne. It was sitting on the back of a wharfie who was unloading a ship from New Zealand. In the same month a bumblebee worker was caught foraging on flowers on Fisherman's Island wharf in Brisbane. There was also a report of a bumblebee sighting in Sydney in 2018.

To report any bumblebees that you may see on the Australian mainland:

-- In Victoria, phone: 136 186.
See DPI Note, 'Keep Victoria Bumblebee Free', visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/pest-insects-and-mites/keep-victoria-bumblebee-free

-- In Queensland, phone: 13 25 23.
See DPI Note called 'Large Earth Bumblebee'

-- In NSW, phone 1800 084 881 (Exotic Plant Pest Hotline -- also for reporting exotic insects) or email: biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au
To report a sighting online, or for more info and helpful id photos, visit: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-and-livestock/bees/pests-diseases/other-pests-and-diseases/bumblebees

In other states please contact your local Department of Primary Industries

Related articles:
A detailed analysis of the AHGA report
What harm could exotic bumblebees do in Australia?
How far could feral bumblebees spread in Australia?

Bumblebees and invasive weeds
The native bee alternative to the bumblebee
How to identify a bumblebee

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Author: Anne Dollin
(See Anne Dollin's Google+ profile)

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PO Box 74, North Richmond NSW 2754, Australia