Australia Gives Up Fight against Parasite

SYDNEY (AFP-Jiji) — Australia abandoned its fight to eradicate the destructive Varroa mite, an invasive parasite responsible for the collapse of honeybee populations across the planet last month.

Desperate to keep Varroa out of the country, authorities have destroyed more than 14,000 infected beehives since the tiny red-brown pest was first detected north of Sydney in June 2022.

The government last month conceded its U.S. $64 million eradication plan could not stop the mite from spreading, saying the country’s beekeepers should now prepare to live with the incursion.

“The recent spike in new detections have made it clear that the Varroa mite infestation is more widespread and has also been present for longer than first thought,” officials said in a statement.