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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of Household Products in the Control of Small Hive Beetle Larvae and Recovery of Treated Combs

Authors
item Park, Alexis - UNIV. OF DELAWARE
item Pettis, Jeffery
item Caron, Dewey - UNIV. OF DELAWARE

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The small hive beetle is a newly introduced pest of honey bee colonies in the U.S. The feeding action of larval small hive beetles results in honey combs that are unacceptable to the bees as they are covered in a slimy material that includes larval excrement. We tested several common household products on honey comb to determine beetle mortality and subsequent acceptance by honey bees of the treated combs. Bleach was fast-acting, killing 100% of treated larvae within four hours. Household detergent was also effective and killed approximately 85% of treated larvae in 24 hours. Other compounds (e.g. vinegar) were less effective. Combs treated with bleach or detergent were acceptable to bees after 24 hours. We propose that bleach is effective in controlling small hive beetle larvae in honey houses and for use in recovering combs infested with larvae. This information will be used by beekeepers throughout the U.S. that are experiencing problems with small hive beetle infestations.

Technical Abstract: The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is a recently introduced pest of honey bees in the United States. The feeding action of larval small hive beetles results in combs that are unacceptable to both the bees and the beekeeper as they are covered in a slimy material that includes larval excrement. In these studies we tested the effects of several common household products on small hive beetle larval mortality and then observed acceptance by honey bees of the treated combs. Bleach was most fast acting killing 100% of treated larvae within four hours. Detergent was also effective and killed approximately 85% of treated larvae in 24 hours. Oil, oil and water, and vinegar were less effective. Combs treated with water or vinegar were acceptable to bees after one hour while bleach and detergent treated combs remained repellent until after 24 hours had elapsed. We propose that bleach is a fast acting and safe product suitable for controlling small hive beetle larvae in honey houses and for use in recovering combs infested with larvae.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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