Monday, October 26, 2009

Video: Wild Honey Bee Colonies Studied in Hawaii

October 24, 2009 - Kehena, Hawaii

Feral beehives in Kehena in the Puna region of the Big Island of Hawaii were tagged and studied by researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Friday.

The effort is a part of the The UH Honeybee Varroa Project, being directed by directed by Dr. Mark Wright and Dr. Ethel Villalobos of the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. The wild honeybees are being examined for viruses transmitted by the varroa mite.

The varroa mite was detected on Oahu in March 2007, and later found to have spread to the Big Island in August 2008. UH Manoa says that although bees in Hawaii have been relatively free of pests and diseases that have spread throughout the mainland, the mite has already dramatically decreased the number of feral bee colonies in Hawaii…

As evidenced in this video, feral colonies may make their hive almost anywhere. The UH research team was not too surprised to find a hive living in a nearby "stone head".

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