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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Chemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318883

Title: Development of a pheromone-based trapping system for the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

item Stuhl, Charles
item Teal, Peter

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray is a European honey bee (Apis mellifera L, Hymenoptera: Apidae) pest that can be destructive to honey bee colonies, causing damage to comb, stored honey and pollen (Hepburn and Radloff 1998). Although not a direct cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), small hive beetle is an opportunistic pest that will take advantage of a stressed hive. If the beetle infestation is high, the bees may abandon their hive (Elezn 2004). The rapid spread of this pest and its stress on the honey bee population has warranted and effective trapping system to control its impact on honey production and honey bee survival. Currently, there is no effective trapping system employed to monitor or control beetle populations outside of the hive. There are several in-hive mechanical trapping devices to control small hive beetles. Most of these beetle traps use either vegetable or mineral oil as the trapping/killing agent. This study utilizes an aggregation pheromone that was isolated from adult male small hive beetle along with a fruit odor attractant. The target strategy of this system is directed at attraction and capturing small hive beetle adults upon emergence from the soil before they enter the hive. The aggregation pheromone has been identified and synthesized. It is used in conjunction with a blend of fruit volatiles and placed in a trapping device. The components of this attractant are highly attractive and extremely successful in trapping the small hive beetle. This discovery has the potential to control an invasive species that is effecting honey bee survival worldwide.