UOG to study health of honey bees in Marianas 


The University of Guam is interested in collecting feral honey bee colonies to conduct research on the health of honey bees throughout the Mariana Islands. 

The research involves doing a survey of honey bee colonies throughout Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam for the National Honey Bee survey funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Honey bees contribute between $15 and $18 billion dollars to the value of the agricultural industry nationally due to their pollination efforts. It is imperative to have a healthy pollinator supply if we wish to continue to produce pollinator dependent fruit, nuts and vegetables in this country. 

The National Honey Bee Survey started on Guam in 2014 to look at the health of honey bees colonies. As it turns out, honey bee colonies have turned out to be disease free and no infestations of parasites.    

Aside from the National Honey Bee Survey conducted on Guam, subsequent surveys were done in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In 2014, Varroa mite was detected on Saipan and Tinian. Feral and domestic colonies in Saipan and Tinian that tested positive for mites during the first three years of survey placed above the national average Varroa load in 2014 and 2016. Although the Varroa mite is present in Saipan and Tinian, there is no evidence of deformed wing virus in those islands currently.

UOG researchers need help to find out if honeybee colonies found throughout Saipan have any diseases that may be harmful to bees. Please call 671-487-1640 or email rosarioc1640@gmail.com to report any wild bee colonies. (UOG) 

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