Bombus terrestris (Bumblebee)

The first sign of bumblebee establishment in Tasmanian occurred on the 19th Feb. 1992 when specimens were collected at Battery Point, Hobart. Early on it was speculated that the species probably came to Hobart via transport shipping from NZ.  Recent genetic investigation shows that the founders of the Tasmanian population did in fact come from NZ and that they’re so inbred that it is possible that they’ve established from just two individuals. Despite the genetic bottleneck, B. terrestris is now widespread on the island.

B. terrestris is not the first bumblebee to be introduced to Tasmania. In 1909, as a means to improve clover pollination for the beef industry, long tongued species imported from New Zealand were released in Falmouth on the east coast, Gunns Plains on the north west coast, and Hobart. No successful colonies were known to have established. Such failed projects have also been recorded from the Australian mainland.

Late December 2010
Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart

Late November 2011

Late November 2021
“Inala” Bruny Island
IMG 1526

Early March 2013
Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart

Mid December 2015
Knocklofty Reserve, Hobart.

Late September 2018
Denison Beach


Early December 2020

This individual was doing some defensive posturing at me as I took the photos.
IMG 6057  IMG 6059  IMG 6061  IMG 6063