European Honeybee

A European Honeybee drinking from a fountain
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Scientific Name: Apis mellifera

Size: Total Length 16 mm

What does it look like?

The European Honeybee is generally yellowish-brown all over, with blackish-brown bands on the abdomen and an orange-brown wash. Some variation in colour and pattern between individuals.

Where is it found?

Introduced into Australia by early European settlers, and is now widespread.

What are its habitats & habits?

The European Honeybee occurs in forests, woodlands, heaths and urban areas, wherever nectar-producing flowering plants are found, where it lives in a large communal nest (hive). The sting, which it uses to protect the colony, is barbed and stays embedded in its victim when it flies away (the bee dying as a result), while the venom gland continues to pump the venom into its victim.

Interesting facts

On average about 1000 people are hospitalised due to allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to bee venom each year in Australia.

Alternate Names: Common Honeybee, Western Honeybee


Australia is a beautiful and rugged country where you may encounter potentially dangerous wildlife, stinging plants, expansive remote areas and temperatures that can create major health issues. There are several ways you can ensure your safety while visiting Australia’s wild places. Find out more how how to stay safe and enjoy your holiday here.

Need a guest speaker for Peter Rowland Photographer and Writer
A Naturalist's Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia front cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Dangerous Creatures of Australia

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