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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS TO REDUCE METHYL BROMIDE FUMIGATIONS FOR CONTROL OF INSECTS IN POSTHARVEST STRUCTURES

Location: Chemistry Research Unit

Title: Monitoring the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera:Nitidulidae), with baited flight traps: effect of distance from bee hives and shade on the numbers of beetles captured

Authors
item Arbogast, Richard
item Torto, Baldwyn -
item Teal, Peter

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 2008
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Citation: Arbogast, R.T., Torto, B., Teal, P.E. 2009. Monitoring the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera:Nitidulidae), with baited flight traps: effect of distance from bee hives and shade on the numbers of beetles captured. Florida Entomologist. 92(1):165-166.

Interpretive Summary: The small hive beetle is a native of Africa where it is considered a minor pest of honey bees, and until recently it was thought to be limited to that continent. However, it was detected in Florida in 1998, and by 2004, it had spread to 30 states. It now poses a major threat to the beekeeping industry of the United States. The beetle enters hives where it lays eggs and multiplies rapidly, feeding on pollen, honey, and bee brood. It contaminates honey, causing it to ferment and eventually destroys the hive. ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida have found that the effectiveness of a trap for monitoring the beetle declines with distance from hives, but that its effectiveness is strongly enhanced by location in shade rather than in the open. Thus, to optimize trapping effectiveness, traps should be placed in well shaded locations, even if this requires placing them further from the hives. Monitoring is a necessary component of control measures needed to manage this pest and mitigate the damage it causes. These measures will be widely used by beekeepers in the United States and are eagerly awaited.

Technical Abstract: The small hive beetle is a native of Africa where it is considered a minor pest of honey bees, and until recently it was thought to be limited to that continent. However, it was detected in Florida in 1998, and by 2004, it had spread to 30 states. It now poses a major threat to the beekeeping industry of the United States. The beetle enters hives where it lays eggs and multiplies rapidly, feeding on pollen, honey, and bee brood. It contaminates honey, causing it to ferment and eventually destroys the hive. Flight traps baited with yeast-inoculated pollen dough are used to monitor the beetle. These traps captured more beetles when they were well shaded than when they were located in light, partial shade. Frequency of capture declined with distance from bee hives, but this correlation was obscured by the strong influence of shade. To optimize trapping effectiveness, traps should be placed in well shaded locations, even if this requires placing them further from the hives.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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