A Low Cost Trapping System for Control of the Small Hive Beetle Aethina Tumida Murray, A Pest of Honey Bee Colonies

Project Overview

Project Type: On-Farm Research
Funds awarded in 2004: $15,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Principal Investigator:
Peter Teal

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bees


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, participatory research
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, traps

    Proposal abstract:

    The project will evaluate the efficiency of an In-Hive trapping system developed by the USDA/ARS-CMAVE for control of the small hive beetle at various beekeeping sites in Florida, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Beekeepers will be provided with the research-based knowledge, generated from this study, necessary to successfully and safely control small hive beetles in their beeyards, and to slow down the spread of beetles to areas at risk threatened by infestation.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    We propose to evaluate on a large scale this low cost trapping system for both monitoring and mass trapping of the SHB at different sites and locations in Florida and Delaware. In Florida, six sites in three beekeeping locations, where the SHB is prevalent will be used; High Springs, Lake City and St. Augustine. A melon pollination site, with a history of SHB’s in Delaware, typical of sites utilized by beekeepers in Pennsylvania fulfilling pollination contracts, will also be used.
    The parameters to be measured in baited and unbaited hives include:
    1)Beetle populations, to be monitored weekly.
    2)Hygienic behavior of bees in hives, to be quantified using a 24 hour freeze kill hygienic test. The increased ability of bees to quickly remove freeze killed beetle larvae from hives has been shown to correlate positively with a colonies resistance to brood diseases and wax moth larval infestation. It is possible that SHBs may have less impact on colonies which exhibit superior hygienic behavior. Two tests for hygienic behavior will be carried out, the first, prior to installing hive traps, and the second, towards the end of the season before traps are removed.
    3)Brood area in colonies, to be monitored monthly. Brood area has been shown to accurately predict colony strength and honey production. Monitoring of this parameter will be important at the sites in Delaware, known to experience periodic nectar dearth.
    4)Wax moth larval population in traps, to be monitored weekly
    5)Presence of diseases and parasites, to be monitored throughout the study
    6)Number of queen replacements. Queens in the baited and unbaited traps will be marked and clipped at the beginning of the study and then monitored at specific periods to check for their replacements.
    7)Number of larvae leaving host colony to pupate. Pan traps will be placed at hive entrances to collect larvae leaving colonies to pupate. These will be counted weekly. Data collected would provide a representation of the potential threat to be posed by the SHB to other regions that these colonies could be moved to.

    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.