This article was originally published on ABC News


“It is a common dry season visitor throughout the tropical north, and now the rainbow bee-eater could hold the key to identifying the remaining varroa mite colonies that have made their way to Australia. The biosecurity threat of a mite infestation could cost Australia more than $1 billion in lost production.

When first detected in Townsville last year the varroa mite was found living on Asian honey bees, but authorities fear the virus-carrying mites could spread to European honey bees, Australia’s largest producers of honey.

The National Varroa Mite Eradication Program (NVMEP) is calling on the public’s help to identify the rainbow bee-eater’s roosts in a bid to find any remaining Asian honey bee nests. Program leader Stephen Anderson said the birds leave tell-tale signs that can point biosecurity officers in the right direction as they try to exterminate remaining bee colonies…”

Read on at: ABC News.