Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas in Hawaii?

A whole bunch of Christmas trees headed for Hawaii earlier this week were quarantined after inspectors discovered at least two different wasp species in the shipping containers. USA Today is reporting that the containers, sent from Oregon, contained two German yellow jacket wasps (Vespula germanica), including one live queen, and three other live wasps that have yet to be identified. The German wasps, which have never been recorded in Hawaii, were of particular concern due to their propensity for living in suburban and urban environments.

One of the contaminated containers was sent back to the company it came from, and the rest, according to this article at the Honolulu Star Bulletin, were vigorously inspected by officials from the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture's Inspection and Compliance Section. Hawaiians with Christmas tree cravings need not fear however, since over one hundred of the containers, each carrying 300 trees, did pass inspection, and more are on the way.

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