Asian honey bees, Java strain, were first detected in Cairns in 2007. They are an adaptable bee species found throughout Asia and some islands of the Asia Pacific. They are established in far north Queensland and cannot be eradicated. Tools and resources have been developed to help the community and pest control industry with managing this pest bee.

Asian honey bees do not appear to be any more aggressive than other species but will still sting if confronted. They are a natural host for varroa mites which, if they became established in Australia, have the potential to significantly damage our bee industry, disrupting both honey production and pollination services.


Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) can be easily confused with common European honey bees (Apis mellifera), and other local native bees. Ensure you are able to identify Asian honey bees before organising to have the bees removed, as European honey bees and native bees are important to our environment for pollination and honey production.