Asian honey bee

Asian honey bee gathering pollen from small flower

Swarm of Asian honey bees landed on a tree branch

A picture of three specimens of three different species. Apis cerana, Apis mellifera and Apis dorsata

Apis cerana

Should I report?

In Australia, Asian honey bees are present in North Queensland near Cairns. If found outside the Cairns region, report Asian honey bees

  • Call the Exotic Plant Pest hotline on 1800 084 881,
  • Submit an online form, OR
  • Email

Include a photo of the insect as part of your report.


Asian honey bees are smaller and less hairy than European honey bees. Asian honey bees range in size from 10-13mm and have more visible yellow banding on their abdomen than European honey bees. Their wing colour is clean with dark brown veins.

They build hives with parallel wax combs and live in colonies of approximately 20,000 bees. They fly faster and more erratic than European honey bees and can sting when threatened.

Asian honey bees cannot be managed for honey production due to their frequent swarming and tendency to abscond.


In 2007 Asian honey bees were first detected in Cairns.. They have since established in far north Queensland and cannot be eradicated. If you suspect Asian honey bees in NSW you must report it (see above for reporting methods).


Asian honey bees are competitors to other pollinating species and restrict available nesting sites. They can spread unwanted mites and diseases, disrupting the environment and threatening the economic market.