bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Australia braced for an invasion

While the UK worries about the demise of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), Australian ecologists regard them as an invasive species and already a hazard in Tasmania.

In 1992, a bumblebee was discovered in Hobart, Tasmania and is now said to be invading central Tasmania to the detriment of native fauna like the swift parrot.

In 2003 worker bumblebees were discovered near the ports of both Brisbane and Melbourne -- and since workers are not thought to be able to survive long voyages, the presence of a local queen was suspected. Mainland Australia is now braced for an invasion. Although tomato growers want them to boost pollination.

The Australian publication paper that follows these developments goes by the wonderful name of the Feral Herald.


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