Maui News

Governor Enacts Measure for Bee Hive Research

June 19, 2012, 3:05 PM HST
* Updated June 19, 3:54 PM
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HDOA courtesy file photo.

By Wendy Osher

Governor Neil Abercrombie yesterday enacted a law to aid in Bee Hive Research and help in Hawaii’s fight to control pests and diseases that have been impacting the state’s bee populations.

House Bill 2100 appropriates $30,000 to the University of Hawaii system for research on Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Hawai’i Island.

This includes work at the 110-acre Panaewa farm as researchers develop more efficient ways to control the small hive beetle, a major pest of honey bee hives on the island.

“Bees are particularly important as pollinators for our macadamia nut and coffee industries; bee-pollinated crops contribute about $106 million to our local economy,” said Governor Abercrombie in a statement.

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“The University of Hawai’i is leading research that will help to protect many of Hawai’i’s own native pollinators, including seven species of yellow-faced bees that are candidates for the endangered species list,” he said.

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The governor also proclaimed June 18-24 as “Hawai’i Pollinator Week” in an effort to raise awareness of a threat within the state’s agricultural economy.

Hawai’i Pollinator Week coincides with National Pollinator Week to raise awareness of the issue of declining pollinator populations.

In Hawai’i, the governor notes, there has reportedly been significant hive loss attributed to the Varroa mite, small hive beetle and diseases.

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Loss of bee hives is viewed as a threat to the agricultural economy in the islands because of the role bees play in the pollination of many crops.

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