Bees found in Fiji – Honey bee – Apis mellifera

The Honey bee (Apis mellifera) are not a native bee species in Fiji. These are the bees kept by beekeepers.

Key Facts

  • They live in hollow trees or in chimneys, wall cavities or roof spaces.
  • They are similar in size to wasps but are furrier and mostly black in colour.
  • Honey bees convert nectar into honey and beeswax.
  • A honey bee swarm will arrive in flight and cluster on a tree branch.
  • A colony size can often be greater than 30,000 individual honey bees.
  • Population infected by varroa mite in 2018.

If you have a problem with honey bees, contact a local Bee Keeper as they will be able to arrange for the swarm to be relocated.

Honey Bees in Fiji

European bees were believed to be introduced by early settlers in the nineteenth century (Driscoll, 2009; Roper & Gonzalez, 2013).

The NorthWestern European dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), also referred to as the German ‘black’ bee, was reportedly the first honey bee species introduced to Fiji (Goldsworthy, 2017; Roper & Gonzalez, 2013).

These bees are considered by beekeepers in Fiji to be more defensive and less productive than other bee subspecies, notably the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica; J Caldeira, personal communication, 8 August, 2019; Goldsworthy, 2017; Roper & Gonzalez, 2013).

During the 1970-80s, New Zealand aid programs attempted to improve the genetic stock by importing Italian bees, which then cross-bred with the German black bee (J Caldeira, personal communication, 8 August, 2019; Goldsworthy, 2017).

Jordanna Hinton, Cooper Schouten, Anneliese Austin & David Lloyd (2019): An Overview of Rural Development and Small-Scale Beekeeping in Fiji, Bee World, DOI: 10.1080/0005772X.2019.1698104

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