What are they?

Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) are large, fat, hairy bees that build their colonies underground.

What do they look like?

Worker bees are 8-22 mm long and queen bees are up to about 25 mm long. Their bodies are black with one yellow band across the thorax and another across the abdomen. The tip of abdomen is white.  Bumblebees make a distinctive loud buzz when flying.

How are they spread?

Bumblebees could arrive in Australia via shipping containers, goods imported from overseas and through sea and air travel. They were deliberately introduced into Tasmania in 1992 and have since spread across large parts of the island.

Where are they found?

Bumblebees are native to Europe. They were introduced to Tasmania in 1992 and have also spread across New Zealand.

What is the potential cost to Australia?

If bumblebees were to establish in NSW they could increase the spread of many weed species. They can compete with honeybees for floral resources which will negatively impact honey production for both amateur and commercial beekeepers. They also impact the natural environment by competing with nectar-gathering birds.

How do I report them?

If you find bumblebees call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 or email biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au with a clear photo and your contact details.

More information

For more information visit Bumblebees.