Australia’s threatened Flora

For those of us who live in coastal Qld or Northern NSW. Any where there are remnant rain forests or they once were. Time to look in the backyard or consider the future of nearby remnants.

Northern NSW has reportedly lost 98% and Qld 80% of the rain forests home to our macadamias

It is also worth considering diversity in many Australian plants has been maintained through pollination by native insects and bees that do not travel very far. European honey bees in comparison travel considerable distances to forage. Typically up to 3.2km. Double that 6+km is economical for the bees who will travel even further if it is for survival. Explains why we get so many when the wattle is in blossom, and no hives near by.

There has been an ongoing battle by commercial bee keepers to allow access with their hives to National Parks. There are different attitudes, state by state.


A good idea for a PhD research topic: “Whether European Honey Bees hinder or assist Australian Native Bees in our Indigenous Forests”.


Hi Paul. Welcome, I can see you are new to the community.

It’s worth discussion, and to consider would that be the most suitable project?

There are considerable concerns for the European Honey bee industry from the spread of Veroa Mite. The more we spread these bees around the more likely it will spread, killing all before it, native and exotic bees.

European honey bees out compete the native species for resources, including hollows when some escape as swarms, carry the risk of disease, and put at risk the survival of numerous native flora, that the European bees are ineffective at pollinating.

One choice may be to have widespread populations of European honey bees and accept the loss of many native bees and flora as our price of saving the honey industry.

A more appropriate research topic might be to ask ‘How many Australian insect and flora species are at risk of extinction from European Honey Bees, Is there a real risk?’

For potential looking to just one specific example of OS research.

And an Australian example with some authority.

Is it sound science that until harm can be proven there should be no need to regulate or restrict access? The WA Museum has reported considerable impacts to their unique biota from feral (escaped) populations of European honey bees.

Hopefully it is not a similar debate to that of waiting until our climate hits a temperature rise of 2C or 3C to believe there is a real potential for harm. Minimising the competition in natural areas from European honey bee production might be to the cost of commercial operators. No amount of money though will bring back extinct native species.

Is this a suitable discussion? Profits vs our environmental heritage.


There is always potential for recovering the natural environment. In this instance it has taken a dedicated effort by a small group of Australians, inspiration, and considerable effort to deliver.

Many of Australia’s unique flora, including many of the ‘gum trees’ are adapted to very specific environments (soil profiles, water etc). Retaining or restoring our flora needs recognising the diversity of the natural environment. The unique pockets and niches that are too easily lost. It’s also the only sustainable way to preserve Australia’s very special fauna.