Solomons beekeepers desperate for help to stop invasive pest

Beekeepers in Solomon Islands are desperate to stop an invasive pest called the Asian honey bee.

The highly nomadic and aggressive species competes with, and even robs, the hives of European honey bees which are the species of choice for Solomon Islands beekeepers.

A local apiculturist, Stephen Sutiagalo, said Asian bees first appeared in 2003, most probably brought in via machinery and equipment of foreign loggers.

Mr Sutiagalo said at the time there were more than 2500 hives in the country, but within a year they had all but been wiped out.

He said with only a few remote islands yet to be taken over by the pest, the country’s beekeepers urgently need help.

“We want to do some physical hunting of these Asian bees and destroy them and then we bring the population down. That is the first thing and second there should be strong quarantine happening on areas where the Asian bee hasn’t spread to yet.”

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