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Invasive Species

Varroa Mites

These things don't attack humans, but they are dangerous to our economy.

Varroa MiteOn Wednesday, August 20, 2008, bees caught in a swarm trap in Hilo, near the Hilo Seaside Hotel, were found to have four varroa mites. This is the first detection of varroa mites on the Big Island, which has the most of the state’s major queen bee export businesses.  The varroa mite is a serious honeybee pest that occurs almost worldwide. Severe infestations of the mite will result in an eventual decline of bee colonies and a reduced honeybee population.  This will significantly reduce pollination of many commercial and residential fruit trees and vegetable crops, resulting in poor yields and low quality produce.

Adult varroa mites are tiny 1-1.5mm reddish brown, crab-shaped, flattened mites.  They are external parasites which attack honey bee adults, larvae, and pupae and use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the hemolymph (blood) of bees. 

What to do?

If you see this pest, or if you see honeybees or beekeeping equipment being moved between islands, please call:  643-PEST (643-7378)

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Hawaii Invasive Species

The above information is accurate as of September of 2010.


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