- Category: Blog
- Published: Thursday, 08 September 2016 23:14
- Written by Jack Wilbur
- Hits: 1111
Small Hive Beetle in Utah
In April of 2016 small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) was detected in Washington County, Utah. A single specimen was collected by an inspector as part of a routine inspection. This represents the first official detection of small hive beetle in the State of Utah. In response Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) placed 105 small hive beetle traps in hives throughout Washington County in May of 2016. This was done to determine whether or not there was an established population and if so to what extent. There were no additional detections of small hive beetle after two months of extensive trapping efforts. UDAF has a high degree of confidence that there is not currently an established population of small hive beetle in Washington County. Further-more UDAF is not aware of any established population of small hive beetle in the State of Utah.
Basic SHB Biology
SHB has 4 distinctive life stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult. First females lay eggs on pollen or in cells with developing brood. Then eggs hatch and the larvae begin eating comb, brood, pollen and honey. Once the larvae have built up enough energy reserves they crawl out of the hive, burrow into the soil and pupate. When the beetle emerges from the soil it is an adult. Adults fly back into the hive to feed, mate and lay eggs. Only the larval and adult stages are readily observable by the beekeeper. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the appearance of these two stages so you can identify the infestation early on.
Adult small hive beetles crawl on top of a frame.
Risk to Utah Beekeepers
Risk of serious impacts to colonies and beekeepers from small hive beetle in the State of Utah is thought to be low. Small hive beetle prefers wet humid climates and tends to do poorly in warm dry climates. This is because small hive beetle pupates in the soil outside a beehive, where the soil must contain enough mois-ture for them to become adults. While risk to the state as a whole is low, there may be small areas where the beetles are able to establish. Therefore UDAF will continue to monitor for this pest as well as other ex-otic organisms which threaten our state’s apiaries.
If you suspect that you may have small hive beetle contact the Apiary Program at:
The Take Away
No known populations of SHB in the State of Utah.
UDAF placed 105 SHB traps and verified that there is no es-tablished population of SHB in Washington County.
Utah is at low risk for serious impacts from SHB.
Contact the Apiary Program if you suspect you have SHB.