THE NSW community has been reminded to watch for Asian honeybees after a breakout at a port in Kurnell, Sydney, last week.
The Department of Primary Industries said the identification of the bees was is a timely reminder to the community to be on the lookout for the potentially devastating pest.
DAFF said it was confident no bees escaped from the Singaporean bulk vessel in Sydney last week.
More than 2000 bees and 150 varroa mites were discovered and destroyed.
DPI bee specialist Doug Somerville said Asian honeybees posed a significant risk to the NSW apiarist and bee industry.
"Asian bees are also potential hosts of parasites and disease, including varroa mites which are considered the most damaging parasite of honey bees in the world today,'' Dr Somerville said.
"NSW has so far kept this pest at bay and its critical people remain vigilant and on the look out for unusual looking bees or swarms of bees.
"Asian honey bees are easily identified by a distinct stripy abdomen and are much smaller than the commonly-found honey bee.''
Dr Somerville said the invasive pest competed with European honey bees for floral resources - robbing managed bee hives and transmitting disease.
"The bee can also be a major pest in urban areas by establishing nests and by its aggressive stinging behaviour,'' he said.
There have been two incursions of Asian bees into northern Australia where they have established colonies.
To report unusual sightings of bees, send information and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 4828 6619.