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Published May 05, 2010, 08:31 AM

Hawaii beekeepers have new worry

HONOLULU — Hawaii beekeepers have something new to worry about. The state Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it has confirmed the presence of small hive beetles on the Big Island.

HONOLULU — Hawaii beekeepers have something new to worry about.

The state Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it has confirmed the presence of small hive beetles on the Big Island.

The beetle was first reported April 27 in Panaewa.

Adult and larval stages of the beetle now have been found at two sites. Surveys are being conducted to determine the extent of the infestation.

The beetle feeds on honey, pollen, wax, honeybee eggs and larvae. It tunnels through the honeycomb, damaging or destroying the honeycomb and contaminating the honey.

It was just two years ago that destructive varroa mites were found on the Big Island. Its feeding weakens adult bees, causing emerging bees to be deformed.

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