Efficacy of Entomopathogenic Fungi in Controlling the Small Hive Beetle; a Destructive and Invasive Pest of Honey Bee Colonies

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2011: $9,996.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Grant Recipient: Florida A&M University
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Lambert Kanga
Florida A&M University


  • Animals: bees


  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: biological control, disease vectors, economic threshold, integrated pest management, physical control, traps
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is a detrimental pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., in the United States causing devastating economic loss to beekeepers. There is currently no successful control method for this new invasive pest. This project intends to evaluate potential new control techniques using a fungal pathogens. A pollen dough substitute will be used to develop laboratory rearing procedures to provide small hive beetles of different life stages for the evaluation of fungal pathogens. Entomopathogenic fungi will be cultured and assessed for pathogenicity to the small hive beetle. Soil bioassays will also be conducted with a fungal pathogens on larvae and adult small hive beetles in field trials. The susceptibility of the small hive beetle populations to fungi will be determined for use in the development of an environmentally friendly and sustainable pest management strategy for beekeepers.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Chemical control measures are currently being used against the small hive beetle but they are inefficient and unsustainable. Therefore, the main objective if this study was to investigate biological control of the small hive beetle. The specific objectives include:

    i. To determine the impact of M. anisopliae on small hive beetle survival and development in soil treated bioassays in the field.

    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.