New incursions of any bee into Australia may carry unwanted bee pests and diseases. If you suspect a new incursion of bees in an international airport or seaport, contact the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 1800 803 006 or
Call us 13 25 23
- A European honey bee swarm on a shrub.
Bee swarms generally occur around the start of spring in September and early October. A bee swarm is a round or oval mass of bees seeking a place to start a new nest under the direction of a queen. Swarming bees are usually placid and unlikely to sting when left undisturbed.
If you come across a bee swarm, remain calm and stay out of their path. Swarms of bees will generally move on in a couple of hours when they have found a suitable dwelling to make a nest. Do not spray the bees with insecticide, as this will irritate them and may cause them to sting.
In North Queensland there is an established pest population of Asian honey bees (Apis cerana). If you feel threatened by a nest or swarm of this pest you can contact a pest control opperator to have them removed. However, it is important that you are able to identify Asian honey bees before taking action, as European honey bees and native bees are important for honey production and pollination services and should be left alone if they are not a threat to you or your family.
If a European honey bee swarm continues to remain on your property and you feel threatened, contact the Customer Service Centre so they can refer you to a local beekeeper who can remove the swarm before they establish a nest. Alternatively, beekeepers in your area may be listed in the Yellow Pages ® Directory under 'Apiarists' or 'Beekeepers'.
Bees can cause problems when they form a nest within a household cavity, such as the wall of your house. If you discover that bees have set up a nest in a household cavity, only a pest exterminator can help you. Use the Yellow Pages ® Directory to find one near you. Search for 'pest control' and refine your search by choosing 'bees'.