Small Hive Beetle is in Europe to Stay

COLOSS     Press Release    November 3, 2014

The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is an exotic pest originally from South Africa which can infest honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, destroying combs and brood often causing total colony loss. It invaded the southern USA in the 1990s causing significant economic loss, and has later been found in Australia, Canada and elsewhere. It is subject to statutory control in most European countries, and contingency plans have been in place for some years in anticipation of its arrival.

On 11th September 2014 the small hive beetle was discovered by beekeepers in Gioia Tauro, in south west Italy. The source of the outbreak is currently unknown. Attempts were made to eradicate the beetles, by killing colonies and treating soil with insecticide, setting up a 20 km protection zone and 100 km surveillance zone around the infested colonies.
 
Subsequent investigation has found that it is present in 48 apiaries of 13 bordering municipalities, all of them concentrated in an area of 10 km radius. Italian beekeepers have asked that the policy of compulsory destruction be halted, and other measures to avoid spread be implemented.

Dr Franco Mutinelli of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie2 says: ”Our inspections have shown us that the beetle is found in strong bee colonies as well as weak ones, in freshly made combs as well as old ones, and in nucleus colonies as well as full colonies. However, until now the infestation appears limited to this area of Calabria region”.

The President of the international honey bee protection network COLOSS1 Prof. Peter Neumann says: “The COLOSS association is greatly concerned about this discovery, which represents the permanent arrival of this pest into Europe. It is inevitable that it will spread to other European countries, but we cannot yet predict what its effects on the beekeeping industry will be. COLOSS members will work together to bring scientific results into practice for the benefit of beekeepers to help them fight this serious pest”.

The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is an exotic pest originally from South Africa which can infest honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, destroying combs and brood often causing total colony loss. It invaded the southern USA in the 1990s causing significant economic loss, and has later been found in Australia, Canada and elsewhere. It is subject to statutory control in most European countries, and contingency plans have been in place for some years in anticipation of its arrival.On 11th September 2014 the small hive beetle was discovered by beekeepers in Gioia Tauro, in south west Italy. The source of the outbreak is currently unknown. Attempts were made to eradicate the beetles, by killing colonies and treating soil with insecticide, setting up a 20 km protection zone and 100 km surveillance zone around the infested colonies.  

Subsequent investigation has found that it is present in 48 apiaries of 13 bordering municipalities, all of them concentrated in an area of 10 km radius. Italian beekeepers have asked that the policy of compulsory destruction be halted, and other measures to avoid spread be implemented.

Dr Franco Mutinelli of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie2 says: ”Our inspections have shown us that the beetle is found in strong bee colonies as well as weak ones, in freshly made combs as well as old ones, and in nucleus colonies as well as full colonies. However, until now the infestation appears limited to this area of Calabria region”.

The President of the international honey bee protection network COLOSS1 Prof. Peter Neumann says: “The COLOSS association is greatly concerned about this discovery, which represents the permanent arrival of this pest into Europe. It is inevitable that it will spread to other European countries, but we cannot yet predict what its effects on the beekeeping industry will be. COLOSS members will work together to bring scientific results into practice for the benefit of beekeepers to help them fight this serious pest”.
 

Scotland: Killer Beetles Threat to Bees

Herald Scotland News   October 1, 2014

SCOTTISH honey bees could be ­endangered by a beetle with club-like antennae that tunnels through honeycomb and destroys entire bee colonies.

The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, has recently been detected for the first time in Europe, in the southern Italian port city of Gioia Tauro.

Since 2011, there has been a ­substantial level of imports of package bees, workers and queens from Italy into Scotland.

The Scottish Government has now warned bee keepers to be vigilant.

Scottish Government bee inspectors, in association with the National Bee Unit, are also arranging for further inspections of colonies that have come from Italy.

The small hive beetle, which is native to Africa, can multiply to huge numbers within bee colonies, eat the brood, honey and pollen, destroy combs and cause fermentation and spoiling of the honey - and ultimately destroy the colony.

They cannot be eradicated once they are well established.

Females can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a hive during their lifetime.

Read at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/killer-beetle-threat-to-bees.25471845