Bee pest spreading on Maui and Molokai

The small hive beetle
The small hive beetle

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The small hive beetle (SHB) which is considered to be a serious pest to honeybees, has been detected on Maui and Molokai.

The beetle is considered widespread on the Big Island and Oahu after it was found in last year.

"We have recently detected low population levels of the small hive beetle on Maui and Molokai," said Danielle Downey, Apiculture Specialist with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). "It is important that beekeepers survey their hives and report any suspected infestation because I firmly believe that the impact of this pest can be minimized through education and good management practices."

In May 2011, a beekeeper at Keonekuino, Molokai reported the presence of SHB. In July, HDOA confirmed the beetle's in a sample taken from hives in East Maui, Maui.

HDOA and a Honey Bee Team from the University of Hawaii in Manoa are currently working with beekeepers on Maui and Molokai to determine the distribution of SHB on those islands.

HDOA has been working with beekeepers on Oahu and the Big island teaching them how to use traps to control and manage SHB-infested hives. The traps have helped in moderate to heavy infestations.

HDOA is holding the following informational meetings for beekeepers:

  • Maui - Monday, August 1st, at Maui Community College, Ka Lama Room 103 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Oahu – Tuesday, August 2nd, HDOA Boardroom, 1428 S. King Street, Honolulu from 5:30–7:00 p.m.

HDOA staff will provide beekeepers with detailed information on how to identify the SHB and to how use traps.

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