Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207517

Title: Observations on the Life History of Small Hive Beetles

item De Guzman, Lilia
item Frake, Amanda

Submitted to: American Bee Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2007
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Citation: De Guzman, L.I., Frake, A.M. 2007. Observations on the Life History of Small Hive Beetles. American Bee Research Conference Proceedings. American Bee Journal 147(5):437

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: DeGuzman, L.I.& A.M. Frake. Observations on the Life History of Small Hive Beetles - The life history of small hive beetles (SHB) kept in an incubator (34ºC) and at room temperature (24-28ºC) was compared. Six slides of eggs, obtained using the glass slide technique, were placed individually in rearing containers (incubator = three; room temperature = three). Egg incubation period was based on the time when 100% of the eggs hatched, which was observed to be 51 h ('2 days) in the incubator and 71 h ('3 days) at room temperature. Larvae were reared individually using eppendorf vials (1.5 ml) closed with moistened cotton wads to prevent desiccation. Each larva was fed with one honey bee pupa. All vials were placed in partitioned trays (50 vials/tray, incubator = two trays, room temperature = two trays). When larvae stopped feeding, moist potting soil (1.2 g) was placed in each vial for pupation. Our results showed that the duration of each of the developmental stages of SHB was affected by temperature (Table). Developmental time was accelerated when larvae were exposed to 34ºC while exposure to 24-28ºC slowed down their development. From egg to adult emergence, beetles kept in the incubator took '23 days to develop which was shorter than the duration of 32 days reported by Schmolke (1974, Certificate in Field Ecology Project Report, 178 pp.) at 30ºC. A total developmental period of '39 days was observed at room temperature, which was similar to that observed by Mürrle and Neumann (2004, J. Apic. Res. 40:111-112) at 8-25oC, and about half the highest duration (81 days) reported by Lundie (1940, Science Bulletin 220. 30 pp.). Further, higher temperature resulted in larger and heavier adult beetles. Our results suggest that temperature can make a significant influence in the abundance and impact of SHB on honey bee colonies. High temperature accelerates reproductive ability and developmental rate of SHB resulting in increased population which may cause damage to honey bee colonies.