When European bumblebees were first introduced in Tasmania in the year 1992, they did not seem to be much of a nuisance to the inhabitants. But as these insects started spreading to the Australian mainland, they began invading farms, urban backyards and bushland. At present, they are considered as one of the most detrimental pests which can cause significant amount of damage of crops and bushlands.
Let’s see why it is important to exercise control against bumblebees in Melbourne as well as other parts of Australia:
Spreading of Weeds
Due to their excellent ability to pollinate, bumblebees can spread various types of weeds like horsenettle, foxgloves, gorse, buffalo burr, rhododendrons and impatiens. These weeds are not only poisonous to the common livestock, but can also be fatal if consumed with food crops by human beings.
Competition With Honeybees
Bumblebees often compete with their commercial Australian cousins for gaining control over nectar of eucalyptus, leatherwood, clovers, lavender, blackberries, thistles and banksia, because of being able to fly at low temperatures. This can take toll on that part of the economy which relies upon commercial production of honey.
Reduced Production of Seed
A study has shown that bumblebees visit about 66 different species of native plants in Australia for pollen and nectar. However, this is more bad than good news for environmentalists. Because these pests can adversely alter the rates of seed production by stealing pollen from the flowers, displacing the native pollinators and robbing nectar.
Bumblebees can easily breed in the urban areas by building nests within parks, backyards and playgrounds. Although these insects generally build their nests around 10 centimetres underneath the soil, but they can also reside in various other places like sheds, compost heaps, woodpiles, old stuffed sofas or chairs, cavities below houses, covered drains and even piles of grass clippings. And if provoked accidentally, they can attack aggressively with repeated stings. General reactions to the stings are swelling and pain in the affected area. Allergic people, however, can experience itching, vomiting, nausea, low blood pressure and difficulty in breathing.
More researches are being done in order to determine any other way that bumblebees can cause damage to the flora and fauna, and people of Australia.
However, the above mentioned factors are the ultimate reasons why Melburnians and Australians as a whole need to implement suitable measures for controlling bumblebees. There are many reputed firms dealing with professional bee pest control in Melbourne who are contacted with for handling such issues.