Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 30, 2010
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
Citation: Graham, J.R., Ellis, J.D., Carroll, M.J., Teal, P.E. 2011. Aethina tumida (Coleoptera:Nitidulidae) attraction to volatiles produced by Apis mellifera(Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies. Apidologie. 42:326-336. Interpretive Summary: The Small hive beetle is an invasive pest of managed honey bee colonies in the US in which it causes significant damage feeding on brood, pollen and honey. Little is known about the host range of this insect. Because of this and reports that the beetle also infests bumble bee colonies scientists at the University of Florida and Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS conducted studies to determine if chemicals from Bumble bee colonies were attractive to the Small hive beetle. Thje results showed that the beetle is attracted to both Honey bee and Bumble bee colonies and that there was no preference for either host bee.
Technical Abstract: In this study, small hive beetle attraction to whole honey bee and bumble bee colony volatiles as well as volatiles from individual colony components was investigated using four-way olfactometer choice tests. This was done to determine the role olfactory cues play in SHB host location and differentiation. Results from the bumble bee bioassays suggest that SHBs are attracted to adult bumble bees, stored pollen, brood, wax, and whole colony volatiles though not to honey volatiles. The honey bee bioassay results suggest that SHBs are attracted to adult honey bees, brood, honey, stored pollen, wax, and whole colony volatiles. SHBs did not exhibit a preference for honey bee or bumble bee component volatiles in the honey bee vs. bumble bee bioassays. Collectively, the data suggest that SHB attraction to bumble and honey bee colony volatiles is mediated chemically.