Integrated Pest Management for Small Hive Beetles

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2010: $5,631.74
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
John Nenninger

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Animals: bees


  • Pest Management: integrated pest management, prevention, traps


    The small hive beetle was introduced in the US in 1992. It has the ability to destroy and kill a colony of bees. The beetle enters the hive between cracks and crevices as well as the front entrance. The larva does its damage before exiting and pupating into an adult. If we can prevent a suitable soil for pupation, can we eliminate the beetle? The “salt box” method is an integrated pest management approach attacking the small hive beetle. It is chemical free and inexpensive, over the life of the hive. Test results have shown that this method works.


    This project dealt primarily with the weakest link of a small hive beetle larvae. How can we keep the larvae from pupating into an adult? The original premise was placing a salty environment beneath the hives that would prevent and kill the larvae before reaching suitable soil. During this testing other methods were reviewed as potential contributors to better control and elimination of the small hive beetle.

    Project objectives:

    The SARE proposal dealt with the weakest link in the small hive beetle lifecycle. Could it be possible to prevent the small hive beetle larvae from developing into adults? The weakest link of the beetle is the need for the small hive beetle larvae to find suitable soil to pupate into an adult small hive beetle. The key objective was to kill the small hive beetle larvae before they were able to pupate into adults using a method called the “salt box.” If we kill all the larvae would there be any adult beetles?

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.