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Honeybee pest found in New Brunswick for the first time

A pest that is damaging to honeybees has been detected in New Brunswick for the first time. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

A pest that has been known to impact the health of honeybees has been detected in New Brunswick for the first time, the provincial government announced on Friday.

It’s news that threatens the nearly 10,000 honeybee colonies in the province.

According to a press release from the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, the small hive beetle was first detected last month in bee colonies imported from Ontario.

READ MORE: Honeybees, including queen, exterminated after swarm falls from tree in downtown Edmonton

At the time, the colonies were being used to pollinate wild blueberries in the Acadian Peninsula.

According to the department, 12 New Brunswick colonies were quarantined as they were in close proximity to the infested Ontario colony.

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Earlier this week, two beetles were confirmed in colonies at two different beekeepers in Rivière-du-Portage and Aulac.

WATCH: Beekeepers get resourceful to deal with dying honey bees

Click to play video: 'Beekeepers get resourceful to deal with dying honey bees' Beekeepers get resourceful to deal with dying honey bees
Beekeepers get resourceful to deal with dying honey bees – May 20, 2016

The department now says that they may expand the quarantine to all other beekeepers within a three-kilometre radius of the colonies that were originally quarantined.

The small hive beetle is especially dangerous to already weakened and compromised honeybee colonies.

The beetles feed off of food stored in the hive while the larvae of the beetle will tunnel through the wax comb and defecate in the honey, eventually causing it to spoil.

Without enough worker bees to defend the food stores then hive can be overrun.

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With a severe enough infestation, entire colonies of bees can perish or abandon their hive.

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