Bumblebee threat - Victoria (Aust.)

Subject: Bumblebee threat - Victoria (Aust.)
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 13:43:58 +1000
Peter Fuller has just advised the list of the potential threat of
introducing the exotic bumblebee Bombus terrestris onto the Australian

Some list members may be aware that the bumblebee has already arrived in
Tasmania (from New Zealand?) and has subsequently spread into every habitat
type on the island.

'The introduction and spread of the large earth bumblebee Bombus terrestris
L. into Victorian terrestrial environments' has been listed as a
potentially threatening process under the Victorian Flora and Fauna
Guarantee Act.  Copies of the Final Recommendation Report which preceeded
this listing are available to interested parties by contacting me directly.

The recommendation report makes specific mention of the threat posed to
Australian honeyeaters and other nectar-loving native fauna.  So called
'sleeper weeds' also get a mention in relation to this new pollinator.

I can send a copy of the short report (as a pdf file) to anyone interested.


Web references
Useful link to bumblebee introduction into Australia -
The Possible Introduction of Bumblebees for Pollination of Horticulture Crops 
in Australia -
What harm could exotic bumblebees do in Australia -
Invasive Species Council -
Bumblebees: environmental pests or harmless immigrants? -

Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Sustainability and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)

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