, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 173-175
Date: 03 Aug 2012

A scientific note on a protozoan pathogen of the small hive beetle

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The small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), is an invasive pest of European honey bee colonies. Chemical and cultural controls are typically used to keep SHBs at a tolerable level. Little work has been done on the biological control of SHBs. While some generalist fungal pathogens and commercially available nematodes have been reported to attack SHBs (Ellis et al. 2004; Mürrle et al. 2006; Cabanillas and Elzen 2006; Ellis et al. 2010), and a yeast, Kodamaea ohmeri, forms a mutualistic relationship with SHBs (Torto et al. 2007), to date, there have been no published reports of any host-specific predators, parasitoids, or pathogenic protozoa, fungi, nematodes, bacteria, or viruses. We conducted a study to determine if there are any naturally occurring pathogens of SHB adults and larvae in Arkansas and adjacent states. This is the first report of an obligate internal pathogen of SHBs.

Beekeepers were solicited to submit SHB samples at beekeeper meetings. SHBs were ...

Manuscript editor: David Tarpy