The use of Bacillus thuringiensis spp. as a Biological Control for Small Hive Beetles (Aethina tumida) and Wax Moths (Galleria mellonella and Achroia grisella) inside Beehives

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $9,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/28/2021
Grant Recipient: Quiwi Produce
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Nadia Ruffin
Agricademy Inc.


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: beekeeping, pollinator health
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture

    Proposal summary:

    Waxworms which are the larvae of the greater wax moths (Galleria mellonella) and lesser wax moths (Achroia grisella) and small hive beetles (Aethina tumida), are parasites and scavengers of honeybee colonies, Apis mellifera. All three are very destructive to beehives and overall affect bee colony health. While there are numerous mechanical and chemical controls available on the market for these pests, they still are wreaking havoc on the beekeeping industry. Implementing the use of Bacillus thuringiensis species as a biological control for these three pests it adds another line of defense against them. The overall goal is to improve honeybee colony health  and prevent colonies from absconding or being killed by the infestation. With healthier hives there should be increase profits for beekeepers because damage caused to honey and other products should be reduced or eliminated.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Identify if Bacillus thuringiensis species can be used as biological controls against waxworms and small hive beetles.
    2. Develop a youth beekeeping entomology club.
    3. Share findings in workshops and via social media (youtube, instagram and facebook).
    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.