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How European Honey Bees Reached Australia

When you look into what changes the world has undergone in the past, you often find that there are many small changes that we would generally not think about. For example, one thing I had never known about enough to even consider it a question was the fact that Honey bees are not native to Australia. So that leads to the idea of starting to question how they even arrived there in the first place, considering that they are there now. 

When looking into it, there seems to be some general consensus that it happened because of the colonization of Australia. Much like with many other things, the landscape of Australia was shifted by the colonization that occurred. Colonizers missing luxuries from home would try and transplant things into the places that they went and took over. One of these things was honey and the introduction of honey bees into the Australian environment as a means of producing honey. Several sources would pinpoint the transplantation of this non-native species to exactly 1822, when a ship, the Isabella, transported them to Australia from England. These bees adapted successfully to the environment that they were forced into and after this was successful, other species were introduced from Italy, Yugoslavia, and North America. A few escaped from where they were kept in places that produce honey and have since spread throughout Australia in the wild. 

Nowadays these bees are likely to be found in the urban, forest, woodland, and heath areas of Australia. While there are many colonies of honey bees that are under the watch of beekeepers, both professional and amateur, there are also hundreds of wild colonies within trees in the areas where these creatures thrive, as well as in other suitable hive environments. These bees have adapted to their environment, taking over many tree hollows and swarming animals, such as owls, that try and encroach on their hives, and in some cases, kill them in large groups. These wild nests are considered to be feral and these bees are sometimes referred to as Feral European Bees. Other variants of honey bees from other places such as Asia have been introduced into the environment as well since then. The Asian honey bee is however slightly smaller than its European counterpart. Many in Australia work to try and stop the spread of these feral European honey bees as they become an infestation and negatively affect the local ecosystems of Australia that has not been able to adapt to their presence as of yet. 

There is something to be seen here, that the selfishness of people hundreds of years ago is still having an effect on the lands and the animals to this day and that it has since evolved into an even bigger problem than it was when these bees were first introduced.