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Honeybee threats found on Maui and Molokai

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:58 a.m. HST, Jul 29, 2011

Beetles that pose a serious threat to honeybees have been detected on Maui and Molokai.

The state Department of Agriculture said Wednesday beekeepers should survey their hives and report any suspected infestation.

The small hive beetle is native to sub-Saharan Africa and feeds on honey, pollen, wax, honeybee eggs and larvae.

The yellowish-brown beetles tunnel through the hive, damaging or destroying the honeycomb and contaminating the honey.

In early May, a Molokai beekeeper reported the presence of the beetle, which was confirmed by University of Hawaii researchers. On Thursday, the beetle was confirmed with a sample taken from hives in East Maui.

Agriculture officials note bees are critical pollinators of many Hawaii food crops.

Informational meetings for beekeepers are to be held next month.


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