News Release – NR08-20 – September 1, 2008

Posted on Sep 1, 2008 in 2008 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU – A third detection of varroa mites on bees in Hilo has been found by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) on Friday, August 29.   A swarm trap collection of 6,200 bees were found to have 24 varroa mites.  This swarm trap was located within a half mile of the two earlier detections near Banyan Drive near Hilo Bay.

This last detection raises the number of bee mites found in the Hilo area to 38 mites from a total of about 30,000 bees.  The initial detection in a swarm trap on August 22 found 12 mites and a detection on August 23 found 2 mites in a feral beehive.  Varroa mites have not been detected in any managed hives in Hilo.

HDOA continues to urge Hilo residents to report feral beehives and bee swarms to the State’s toll-free PestHotline at 643-PEST (7378).  HDOA is also asking beekeepers and the public not to transport bees or beekeeping equipment in or out of a 15-mile radius of Hilo Bay.

HDOA staff have set more than 100 swarm traps around Hilo and additional swarm traps around Hawaii Island to capture roaming swarms.

Varroa mites are serious honey bee pests that occur almost worldwide.  In April 2007, varroa mites were reported by a beekeeper in Manoa, Oahu.  At that time, it was determined that varroa mites were already widely established on Oahu.  Since then, HDOA has been monitoring swarm traps around ports as an early detection method in case any varroa mites hitchhike to neighboring islands.   More information on varroa mites is available on the department’s webpage at:  http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/varroa-bee-mite-page

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