PORT MORESBY, PNG — One species of Asian bees being introduced into Papua New Guinea is slowly killing the apiculture (honey bee) industry, PNG Farmers and Settlers Association President Wilson Thompson said.
He said these bees carried varroa mite parasites, which were damaging to the health of the local bees.
Thompson said: “PNG has problem with Asian bees that brought in varroa mite that earlier affected the European bee population and production.
“The Farmers and Settlers Association is concerned that the issue raised here could affect the already depressed bee population and also might have impact on production and productivity of food and agricultural cash crops in the country.
“We are concerned that the World Bank reported in November last year that a production and export figure from the tree crops sector has decreased and some are lowest in the 10-year period”.
Thompson said apart from other factors that affected production, the role of bees in pollination process must be acknowledged and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) and National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) must immediately review their research in this area.
“We commend NARI that has done preliminary studies, but it should expand such studies in light of decreased crop production and further impact of varroa mite and other diseases that might affect the beekeeping and honey industry.”