The development of an attract-and-kill bait for controlling the small hive beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)
This research investigates the development of an attract-and-kill bait for in-hive control of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida. The control method employs attracting the beetles to an in-hive trap with a feeding attractant/stimulant where a toxicant is delivered by consuming an edible bait. Investigations into mild insecticides led to the use of boric acid. At low doses, boric acid is non-toxic to humans but lethal to insects. This research was designed to identify key compounds that would attract small hive beetles, develop an edible bait using those compounds and if the diet would be consumed by the beetle, determine the lethal dose with the lowest amount of toxicant, and the effects the toxicant would have on the honey bee. Attractive compounds were identified from honey bee pollen patties inoculated Kodamaea ohmeri yeast and resulted in the identification of three key components: ethyl propionate, isobutyl propionate, and ethyl butyrate. A diet comprised of corn gluten meal, barley flour, soy flour, Brewer’s yeast, and glycerin containing the attractant/feeding stimulant was highly attractive and readily consumed. In laboratory trials, the treatments containing the attract-and-kill with 2% boric acid reduced the beetle population to zero within a few days. There was no significant difference between the sex of the beetle for survival on any of the treatments. Honey bee survival was reduced by ingesting the boric acid. The development of an inexpensive small hive beetle trapping system is essential for in-hive control of this devastating pest. This system has the potential to provide beekeepers a tool for control of this pest species that affects honey bee health and survival worldwide.
KeywordsHoney bee pests Aethina tumida Apis mellifera
CS conceived, designed, and wrote the manuscript.
- Boone, C.; Bond, C., Stone, D. (2012) Boric acid general fact sheet; National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/boricgen.html (accesses on 04 March 19)
- Elzen P.J., Baxter, J.R., Westervelt, D., Randall, C., Delaplane, K.S., Cutts, L., Wilson, W.T. (1999) Field control and biology studies of a new pest species, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera, Nitidulidae) attacking European honey bees in the Western hemisphere. Apidologie 30, 361–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 2010 Toxicological profile for boron, pp. 11Google Scholar
- Hood, W.M. (2011) Handbook of small hive beetle IPM. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Program. Extension Bulletin 160Google Scholar
- Peng, C., Williams, R.N. (1990a) Artificial diet for the strawberry sap beetle, Stelidota geminata (Say) (Nitidulidae: Coleoptera). J. Agr. Entomol. 7(2),137–140Google Scholar
- Reyes-Escobar, O., Dosal-Alonso, E., Lara-Alvarez, C., Lara-Alvarez, L.G., Dorantes-Ugalde, J.A., Saldaña-Loza, L.M., (2015) Lethal effect of boric acid and attractants against the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). J. Apicul. Res. 54(3), 226–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- SAS Institute. (2009) SAS system for Windows, version 9.4.SAS Institute, Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
- Schmolke M.D. (1974) A study of Aethina tumida: the small hive beetle. Project Report, University of Rhodesia, p. 178Google Scholar
- Spreafico, M., Eördegh, F.R., Bernardinelli, I., Colombo, M. (2001) First detection of strains of Varroa destructor resistant to coumaphos. Results of laboratory tests and field trials. Apidologie 32, 49–55Google Scholar
- Zawislak, J., (2010) Managing small hive beetles. Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas, US Department of Agriculture, and county governments cooperatingGoogle Scholar