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State approves use of pesticide to battle mites that feed on honeybees

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The state Department of Agriculture has issued a license for a product beekeepers may use to battle the varroa mite hounding Hawaii’s honeybees. 

The department said in a statement today the miticide has already been used in Canada.

Beekeepers place “Mite-Away Quick Stripes” on beehives, killing the mites but not the bees.

Hawaii beekeepers found the product to be effective after the department issued a special permit allowing its use in 2009. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stopped the sale of the product a year later because it contained an ingredient that wasn’t EPA-approved. 

The department has since been working with the EPA to make the product available again.

Varroa mites feed on the blood of honey bees, weakening them.

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