Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Hood, William M
Benson , Eric P
Bridges , William C
The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), is one of the most recent honey bee pests of economic importance, especially in the southeastern United States. Various in-hive traps have been developed to attempt to control the populations of this invasive pest within honey bee colonies. The first year of my research focused on comparing the effectiveness of three commercially available traps for removing small hive beetles. Thirty-two colonies were established with 0.9-kg package bees with a queen in four apiaries. Eight colonies were placed in each apiary, each colony randomly receiving one of four treatments: the three-chambered Hood trap, the disposable Better Beetle Blaster, the Freeman tray trap, or having no trap as a control colony. Two of each type of colony treatment was present in each apiary. Data was collected over a seven month period from April to November 2010. The Freeman tray trap was determined to be the most effective at capturing small hive beetles compared to the other traps and the controls. More adult beetles were consistently trapped within the Freeman trap over the season, with the Better Beetle Blaster and Hood trap capturing more beetles in late summer than earlier in the year.
The first and second years of my research additionally investigated the possibility of adult small hive beetles being attracted to dead beetles within traps for a 'trapping sink' effect. Five apiaries of three colonies were established with 0.9-kg package bees in 2010 and fifteen apiaries of three colonies were established with 0.9-kg package bees in 2011. The 'sink' colonies in each apiary were treated with both the Better Beetle Blaster and Freeman tray trap. In 2010, two apiaries were treated with one sink, two apiaries were treated with two sinks, and the remaining colony had no traps as a control. In 2011, the same treatments were used in the same ratio with six one sink apiaries, six two sink apiaries, and three control apiaries. The data for both investigative years was collected from April to November and compiled for a total of 20 apiaries and 60 colonies. The lack of significance between the trapped and control apiaries demonstrated that there is no discernible 'trapping sink' effect when a percentage of colonies within an apiary have small hive beetle traps. This suggests that the recommendation for small hive beetle control within an apiary would be to place traps in every colony.
Peterson, Shannon, "Trapping and Control of the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida, an Invasive Parasite of Honey Bees, Apis mellifera" (2012). All Theses. 1442.