Good News for Guam’s Honey Bees, They Appear to Be Varroa Free

May 12, 2014

From: Pacific News Center

University of Guam

Guam – In a United Nations report The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Pavan Sukhdev speaks to the invaluable service bees provide for humankind. 

“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”  

Dr. Ross Miller, entomologist at UOG’s Western Pacific Tropical Research Center does not ignore bees. He has wanted to conduct a survey on Guam’s bees for years. When USDA-APHIS announced the National Honey Bee Health Survey, Dr. Miller jumped at the opportunity to apply for funding to have Guam bees included in the survey.

He believes there is a potential market for supplying US beekeepers with queen bees from Guam.

“If Guam can be declared a varroa free zone, beekeepers on island may be able to fill the US demand for queen bees certified to be free of the damaging mite,” said Miller.

The parasitic varroa mite has infected bee colonies throughout the US mainland and Hawaii. An untreated infestation can kill an entire bee colony.

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