Honeybee colonies across LI, state under attack by mites

Posted: Updated:
OLD BETHPAGE -

Honeybee colonies across Long Island and the state are under attack by a dangerous parasite.

Varroa mites first appeared in the U.S. in the 1980s and have since become a full-blown infestation. 

Donal Peterson manages over 100 colonies, including 500,000 honeybees at Restoration Farm.  A few years ago, he suffered a massive die-off because of mites. He says it knocked out 50 to 60 percent of his hives.

Caroline Fanning, the head grower at Restoration Farm, says if the honeybees go, so do locally grown fruit crops.

“And I’m not just talking about peaches, apples, and blueberries, I'm talking about anything that has seeds inside, so tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, watermelon. Those are all fruit crops as well, and they are dependent on bees to pollinate them,” she says.

Scientists continue to research the situation and are working to develop a cure. 

Peterson hopes the increased buzz around the parasite will inspire more beekeepers to take action. 

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • #LIWinterShots

    #LIWinterShots

    News 12 Long Island wants to see your #LIWinterShots all season long!

    News 12 Long Island wants to see your #LIWinterShots all season long!

  • Birthday Smiles

    Birthday Smiles

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

  • Your Long Island Weather Photos

    Your Long Island Weather Photos

    Happy pup! #liweather #pitbullsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #centralislip mypalkeeperHappy pup! #liweather #pitbullsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #centralislip mypalkeeper

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LIWeather.

    Share your weather photos with us on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LIWeather.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."