By Wendy Osher
Beekeepers in Hawaii have a new weapon to use in their battle against the invasive varroa mite.
The state Department of Agriculture yesterday, licensed a miticide for use in the control of the varroa mite, which is considered one of the most serious pests of honeybees.
Mite-Away Quick Strips TM, is produced in Canada and utilizes formic acid as an active ingredient, which is toxic to the mites, but not to the honeybees. The strips of miticide are place in beehives, killing the pest and preventing loss of honey producing bees.
In October 2009, HDOA issued a Special Local Needs Permit, allowing the use of the product in Hawaii. Beekeepers in the state began using the product and found it to be effective; however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stopped the sale of the product in September 2010, because it contained an inert ingredient that was not previously approved.
“We know that many beekeepers have been anxiously waiting to be able to use this product again and staff have been working very diligently with EPA to get the product back on the market,” said Russell S. Kokubun, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.
Since that time, HDOA has been working closely with the EPA to make the miticide available again in Hawaii. On February 4, EPA approved the product for federal registration, and licensing was completed yesterday with the HDOA’s Pesticide Branch.