Australian Honeyeater Threat

Subject: Australian Honeyeater Threat
From: "John Leonard" <>
Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 05:17:58 +0000
I would oppose the introduction of any Bumble Bee spp to the Australian
mainland because it?s introducing another non-native sp into an ecosystem
already greatly damaged by introductions. I don?t know what Bumble Bees are
supposed to be able to pollinate that native insects and Honeybees can?t,
but they are likely to be a rival for nectivorous native birds.

Just one point though, my understanding is that Bumble Bees are solitary and
nest in holes in the ground, not tree hollows. Honey Bees are already a
well-established introduced sp in southern Australia and I?ve seen plenty of
tree hollows with attended honeybees around Canberra. That is a threat which
has already become a reality for hole-nesting native birds. Are there any
colonial tree-hollow-nesting Bumble Bees?

John Leonard

John Leonard (Dr)
PO Box 243, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia

From:  (Majordomo)
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Re: Australian Honeyeater Threat
Date: Fri,  7 May 2004 12:34:41 +1000 (EST)

Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 12:20:11 +1000
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Hi All,

Last night on Catalyst on the ABC, they ran a program on the possible
introduction of the Bumble bee onto the Australian Mainland for

This is a potential environmental disaster in the making, and i want to
call for concerned birding parties to voice some educated opinions on
matter to the appropraite parties.

It has already been documented that the European Honey Bee has had a
detrimental impact on Australian bird life by occupying potential nest
hollows for hives, and also taking the early morning nectar from
flowers, thus severely affecting food supply.

The environmental studies presented on Catalyst were far from promising
stopping this move, based on the Bumble Bees impact in other countries.
However, as all birders would know, there is a special affinity between
the birds of Australia, and nectar producing plants,  having endemic
families such as the Honeyeater's and Chats.


"In Australia, more than 80% of plant and animal species are endemic,
which means that they only occur naturally in Australia.
Species are grouped together into families according to shared
characteristics. In Australia, it is not just the individual species
are endemic - whole families of animals and plants are endemic. Seven
families of mammals, four of birds and twelve of flowering plants are
endemic to Australia. No other country has as many endemic flowering
families as Australia."

Please show your support for such endangered birds as the Regent
Honeyeater and Swift Parrot, and ensure no further species are added to
this list due to short term economic interests.

Two Entomologists involved in the studies are Andrew Hingston and
Bell.  Graeme Smith is the president of the Australian Hydroponics and
Greenhouse Association who are behind the push for the introduction of
Bumble Bee to the Australian mainland.

Please contact them to voice your concerns and ensure they take avian
wildlife concerns into consideration.


Andrew Hingston - Entomologist

Melissa Bell -  Entomologist

Graeme Smith - President of the AHGA

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