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Posted: Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 8:58 AM HST

Abercrombie proclaims Hawaii Pollinator Week

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Gov. Neil Abercrombie has declared it Hawaii Pollinator Week.

The governor says this week is about raising awareness of declining pollinator populations. It coincides with National Pollinator Week. Bees are critical pollinators of many Hawaii crops and the loss of bee hives is a threat to the agricultural economy.

Beetles that pose a serious threat to honeybees have recently been found on Kauai. They were first detected on the Big Island in April 2010 and have since spread to Oahu, Maui and Molokai.

The small hive beetle is native to sub-Saharan Africa and feeds on honey, pollen, wax, honeybee eggs and larvae.

At Monday's proclamation ceremony for Pollinator Week, Abercrombie also signed into law a bill appropriating $30,000 to the University of Hawaii for statewide bee hive research.

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