Apis melliferaCommon name: Feral bee or European honeybee

Meaning of name: Apis is a Latin word meaning bee. Mellifera comes from the Latin words melli, meaning honey, and ferre, meaning to bear.

Distribution: Found throughout Australia.

Description: Approximately 15mm long.

Notes: The European Honeybee was introduced into Australia soon after Europeans arrived. It is now found across much of Australia. The bee was introduced to produce honey and pollinate crops.

When bees swarm and leave their managed hives they become feral bees. Feral bees take over nesting hollows and compete with native animals for nectar.

Without a suitable hollow, many birds and mammals can’t breed. When a hollow is found, the native animals are still not safe. Feral bees can come along and evict the tenants. If there happen to be flightless chicks in the hollow then the feral bees can sting them to death.

The Friends of Queens Park Bushland are working with the City of Canning to remove all feral bee colonies in remnant bushland. If you see a feral bee colony in the bushland please contact us.

References: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_honey_bee