I’ve just read an article on A ceranae eradication in Australia.
How much of a problem is the bee and how Jeff?
The Asian Honeybee (AHB)? It has been detected in “far north Queensland (FNQ)” (Townsville)…the same area our cane toad problem originated from…
I believe the bee is more aggressive than the European honey bee. (for reference, on the East coast I think they are allowed Caucasian and Italian honey bees, but over in the West I think apiarists are only allowed the Italian honey bee.This is in addition to the stingless native bee you get in Qld/Northern NSW and in an isolated area in far North WA. I’m happy to stand corrected on the strains of bees permitted if anyone can correct me).
From my view, the main issue is the fact the Asian honeybee has been detected with Varroa Jacobsoni. Until earlier this year there had been no detection (to my knowledge) of Varroa in Australia. At present the detection is limited to FNQ. NOTE that Varroa Jacobsoni is not the same as Varroa Destructor, but I’m not clued up on the key differences/impacts.This articles focusses on Destructor: http://beeaware.org.au/archive-pest/varroa-mites/
I’m not sure what article you read but two others that might interest you are:
(Interestingly, one article says the AHB is in Cairns while the other says Townsville. Either way, it is still FNQ)
Apparently the genotype of the AHB might make a difference too.
From the beeaware link…
…This genotype cannot be managed for honey production and pollination services due to its frequent swarming and tendency to abscond. The AHB produces less honey than the European honey bee (EHB)…
Thank you for that. I’ll have a read
Hi Dee, last I heard, it was still contained in FNQ.
One additional problem with Asian honeybees in Oz is a reduction in fertility. Asian drones are able to mate with European queens but the offspring worker bees have low survival. This results in fewer workers being produced by a colony. As we know a virgin queen will mate with a large number of drones. If some of those drones are Asian honeybees, some of her stored sperm will be worse than wasted. Almost every time she lays an asian drone fertilised egg, the resources of the colony will be squandered in an attempt to nurture the hybrid larva.
In addition there is the possibility of hybridization. The occasional surviving hybrid worker won’t produce a problem because she is sterile. However if a viable, hybrid queen were produced, who knows what new characteristics she might bring to our honeybee population?