Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Temperature affects Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) Development

Authors
item DE GUZMAN, LILIA
item FRAKE, AMANDA

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2007
Publication Date: June 15, 2007
Citation: De Guzman, L.I., Frake, A.M. 2007. Temperature affects Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) Development. Journal of Apicultural Research. 46(2):88-93.

Interpretive Summary: Small hive beetles (SHB) can cause death of weak and strong honey bee colonies alike. At present, recommended control measures provide only marginal control. However, the establishment of adequate pest management has been difficult due to the limited information on their basic biology. In this study, we examined the effects of temperature on the developmental period and size of SHB. Our results showed that temperature greatly influenced the development, body size and weight of SHB. Larvae exposed to 34ºC, the same temperature as in the brood chamber of a beehive, developed faster (21 days) than those exposed to 24-28ºC (36 days). Likewise, higher temperature produced larger and heavier adult females. From this study, we can hypothesize that the impact of SHB on honey bee colonies may be influenced by the difference in the reproductive ability of SHB and their rate of development in different thermic regimes. Colder climates will inhibit SHB population development. However, during warmer months population development may accelerate and reach levels that damage colonies.

Technical Abstract: The effects of temperature on several life history parameters of small hive beetles (SHB),Aethina tumida, were investigated under laboratory conditions. Our results showed that the development, body size and weight of SHB were dependent on temperature. Exposure of beetles to a lower (room) temperature (24-28ºC) resulted in a 15-day extension of their developmental period with a mean of 36.31 ± 0.08 days as opposed to 20.68 ± 0.08 days at higher temperature (34ºC). At room temperature, the total developmental time of males was about one-day longer (36.63 ± 0.12 days) than that of females (36.02 ± 0.15 days). Higher temperature produced larger and heavier adult females. Weight and width similarities between males exposed to higher temperature and females reared under room temperature were also observed. From this study, we can deduce that the abundance and impact of SHB on honey bee colonies may be influenced by the difference in their reproductive ability and rate of development in different thermic regimes. A new technique of rearing individually-reared small hive beetles (SHB) is also described.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014