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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Composition of volatiles from fermenting pollen dough and attractiveness to the small hive beetle Aethina Tumida, a parasite of the honeybee Apis mellifera

item Torto, Baldwyn
item Arbogast, Richard
item Alborn, Hans
item Suazo, Alonso
item Van Engelsdorp, Dennis
item Boucias, Drion
item Tumlinson, James
item Teal, Peter

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2007
Publication Date: 7/1/2007
Citation: Torto, B., Arbogast, R.T., Alborn, H.T., Suazo, A., Van Engelsdorp, D., Boucias, D., Tumlinson, J.H., Teal, P.E. 2007. Composition of volatiles from fermenting pollen dough and attractiveness to the small hive beetle Aethina Tumida, a parasite of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Apidologie. 38:380-389.

Interpretive Summary: The small hive beetle has become a significant pest of beehives in the United States over the past 10 years. Although the beetle is distributed broadly, little information is available on spread, host habitat outside of beehives, or population densities. The best way to gain insight into these factors is through the use of effective monitoring traps. Scientists at the Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, ARS Gainesville Florida, the University of Florida and the Pennsylvania State University have developed a new highly effective attractant and trap combination that allows for effective population monitoring of this invasive pest. Using the trap-lure combination at sites in Florida and Pennsylvania the team has discovered that most beetles were captures in July and August in beeyards but that beetles could be trapped in shady areas as much as 500m form hives. The development of the trap and lure combination will greatly aid research on the population dynamics of the small hive beetle.

Technical Abstract: In dual choice wind tunnel assays, we found that a pollen-based diet (pollen dough) fed upon by either sex of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida (SHB) for three days lured significantly more beetles into traps than pollen dough not fed upon by the beetle. Field trapping experiments were carried out to investigate the response of the SHB to pollen dough that had been fed upon by adult males of the beetle. Traps baited with the fermenting pollen dough captured significantly more beetles than unbaited traps and beetle capture in baited traps varied with the location of the trap. Baited traps were more effective in trapping beetles in the shade than in the sun or by hives. Beetle capture did not change significantly from July to August at either site but was significantly lower in September. About 85-95% of the total beetles were captured during July and August. The male: female ratio of SHB trapped at the two sites during the experiment was 1:.3:1 and 1:2.8:1. In Pennsylvania trap capture varied with the location of the beeyard, and in two consecutive years, '83% of the total SHBs were caught from the same beeyard. The baited traps also attracted other beetles, which varied in species composition by site and region. These included a scarab flower beetle Euphoria sepulchralis, a beetle commonly found in honeybee hives, and several nitidulid species, mainly the picnic beetle Lobiopa insularis, Colopterus unicolor, Colopterus maculata, Cryptarcha ampla, Glischrochilus fasciatus and various unidentified species of Carpophilus.

Last Modified: 09/18/2017
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