The Asian honey bee which has established a foothold in far north Queensland has been in the Australian news again. Beekeepers are upset as the government authorities have decided it is impossible to wipe out the bees and have given up trying. Apis cerana the Asian honey bee, also called Asiatic honey bee or the Eastern honey bee, is a carrier of bee parasites and diseases which put beekeepers who have european bees and other food producers at risk across Australia. Besides this they compete with other honeybees for pollen and steal honey from managed bee hives, causing bees to starve and hives to die.
The Honey Bee Industry contributes about $80 million a year directly to the Australian economy without including it's contribution of pollination services to agriculture on everything from avocadoes to zuccinis.
The Australian honey industry and the US almond growers are lobbying the federal government to have the decision overturned. Read Australian Honey Bee Industry Council Inc's press release of March 2011 regarding this.
Keep posted for what happens.
Asian Honey bee information from Queensland government's primary industry site
PHOTO THANKS TO CHARLES LM