Australian Honeyeater Threat

To: "John Leonard" <>, <>
Subject: Australian Honeyeater Threat
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 17:38:15 +1000
The Bumble Bee is a social insect and establishes itself in hollow trees
when available, as far as I have been able to determine. In Tasmania, the
Bumble Bee has not caused significant harm to local nectarivores as it has a
preference for taking nectar when the day warms up a little - preferring
temperatures of around 10 degrees or more, if memory serves. Thus, the local
birds, insects and mammals have first dibs on the nectar in the cool early
Tasmanian mornings (many Australian plant species produce their nectar at
hours aimed to encourage their targeted or preferred pollenators and this is
generally in the nights or early mornings). On the mainland, it will be a
different story as the mornings are warmer and the Bumble Bees will be able
to compete for the morning nectar flows far more effectively. This is a very
important point which has been overlooked or swept under the carpet by
advocates for Bumble Bee introduction, or their "tamed Scientists".

I greatly fear that we're looking at another Cane Toad here and the possible
devastation of whole species. So I encourage all to write to the parties
which Peter posted earlier. We also need to let the relevant politicians
know that opening the door to another feral species, just so that some
self-interested tomato growers can have some short term economic gain, will
not go without a big fight and a political backlash. Boy, I feel militant
about this one!

Start reforging the ploughshares folks!

Regards - Ricki

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