BEETLES THREATEN U.S. HONEY BEE COLONIES
A recently discovered small hive beetle is the newest threat to honey bees in the United States. Originally from South America, the beetle has established itself in some honey bee colonies in various Southeastern, Midwestern and Northeastern states.
The small hive beetle appears to be primarily a pest of stored equipment, especially full honey supers awaiting extraction, said Dr. James Tew, apiculture advisor with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
The adult small hive beetle is dark brown to black and about one-third the size of a worker bee. Larvae are elongated whitish grubs that have three pairs of legs. They are easily mistaken for wax moth larvae, however the small hive beetle does not spin cocoons and must complete their development outside the beehive in the soil.
Preventative use of unapproved insecticides in and around beehives is risky and is not recommended. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved emergency exemption for beekeepers to use pest control strips containing the chemical coumophos.
The strips can be used in Alabama under the trade name CheckMite+ Bee Hive Pest Control Strip. For more information, contact your county Extension office and ask for publication ANR-1186, ""The Small Hive Beetle: A New Pest of Honey Bees.""