The local food production might be threatened according to the Ministry of Agro-Industry. The varroa parasite affecting bee populations is at work in nature. Consequently, the plants depending on bee pollination are expected to be adversely affected by the repercussions thereof. Fruits and vegetables like the pumpkin and cucumber which rely mostly on bee pollination might decrease considerably.
The varroa appeared in the country last August. Its populations had spread considerably by April. They attack the eggs and larvae of bees such that the baby bees which do make it out of their eggs suffer from deformations. Swarms of bees have thus been destroyed.
The parasite cannot be eradicated, according to an officer from the ministry. The authorities can only limit the damage being done, and not uproot the source itself. Furthermore, the parasite is able to show resistance to treatments provided.
Mauritius was previously protected from the parasite: it was among the only three countries in the whole world not be affected by it. But, fate had it otherwise.
When it first appeared in Mauritius, the parasite was contained by the authorities. However, since the bee colonies are often displaced by the beekeepers, the parasite ultimately propagated itself.