News Release – NR08-27 – November 11, 2008

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 in 2008 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU – Crews from the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) found two sites with varroa mites in Hilo yesterday.  The varroa mites were found in collections at two bait stations located near the Airport Post Office and within several hundred yards of each other.  At one station, 155 bees were collected with one mite detected.  Five mites were detected in the other station from a collection of 335 bees.

Personnel from HDOA have been continuously trapping, monitoring and testing bees since the varroa mites were first discovered on the island in August.  Forty-three bait stations have been deployed in the Hilo area to trap feral bees. 

Since the first detection of varroa mites on Hawai`i Island in August 2008, HDOA personnel have found 52 mites from a total of about 300,000 bees collected.  All of the detections have been within about a one-mile radius.

August 22 – 12 mites found in a swarm trap
August 23 – two mites were found in a wild hive
August 29 – 24 mites found in a swarm trap
September 6-7 – five mites found in a wild hive
September 11 – one mite found in a wild hive
October 30 – one mite found in a bait trap
November 10 – six mites found in two bait traps

Varroa mites have not been detected in any hives managed by beekeepers on Hawai`i Island. 


HDOA will continue to collect samples in Hilo and around Hawai`i Island to determine the extent of the varroa mite infestation.  Hilo residents are asked to report wild beehives and bee swarms to the State’s toll-free Pest Hotline 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.

More information on varroa mites, including previous news releases, is available on the department’s webpage at: