CHAINSAWS growling across the Fraser Coast are giving native stingless bees a fighting chance after Council recently declared war on the African tulip.
The African tulip is an invasive tree to Australia and the species is fatally toxic to local native stingless bees.
Mayor George Seymour said Council was actively removing African tulips from parks across the region.
African tulips are classified as a category three restricted invasive plant which means they cannot be given away, sold or released into the environment.
Cr Seymour said the trees were planted widely across Queensland by different councils before their impact on native stingless bees was known.
“They are lovely trees that provide great shade and have beautiful flowers throughout most of the year. But we now know a lot more about them.
“We have been left a legacy of these trees that were planted so far and wide,” he said.
Among the African tulip’s harmful characteristics is that they can be fatal to native stingless bees.
“Australian native bees are vitally important to the environment as pollinators.
“As a community we shouldn’t have invasive plants in our parks, they are killing bees. We should be doing everything we can to protect bees,” Cr Seymour said.
The mayor made the comment at Parraweena Park in Point Vernon this morning where five trees were being removed.
“I’d much prefer to see trees being planted than being removed but in this case the bees, the environment and our community are much better without them.
“Everyday we should be doing whatever we can to protect the environment for our community, the animals and our future.”
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Cr Seymour said residents are being encouraged to remove African tulips from their private properties.
“It is now illegal to sell, give away or plant them but they were of course planted widely 20 to 30-years-ago. It is not illegal to have them but people are being encouraged to take them out.”
Cr Seymour said Council would provide residents with a free native plant if they remove an African tulip from their own properties.
“But right now, our focus is on getting them out of our parks, streets and off Council land.”
The African tulip has been planted extensively as an ornamental tree but they are now considered among the world’s worst invaders, according to the Global Invasive Species Database.
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