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Evaluation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner as an alternative control of small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)

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An Erratum to this article was published on 25 January 2007

An Erratum to this article was published on 25 January 2007


Small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray, are parasites and scavengers of honeybee colonies, Apis mellifera L., and have become an invasive species that can cause considerable damage in its new distribution areas. An effective subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (=Bt) would provide an alternative to chemical control of this pest. Therefore, we tested three different Bt strains [B. thuringiensis, var. aizawai (B401®), B. thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Novodor®) and B. thuringiensis var. San Diego tenebrionis (Jackpot®)] and Perizin® (3.2% coumaphos), each applied on combs with a pollen diet fed to pairs of adult beetles. This evaluates the products for the suppression of successful small hive beetle reproduction. While none of the tested Bt strains showed a significant effect on the number of produced wandering larvae, we could confirm the efficacy of coumaphos for the control of small hive beetles. We further show that it is also efficient when applied with a lower concentration as a liquid on the combs. We suggest the continued search for efficient Bt strains naturally infesting small hive beetles in its endemic and new ranges, which may become a part of the integrated management of this pest.

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We like to thank B. Barth for technical assistance and S. Gisler from Andermatt Biocontrol AG for providing Novodor® and Jackpot®. Financial support was granted by an Emmy Noether fellowship of the DFG [PN].

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Correspondence to Peter Neumann.

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Communicated by Jürgen Gross

An erratum to this article can be found at

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Buchholz, S., Neumann, P., Merkel, K. et al. Evaluation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner as an alternative control of small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). J Pest Sci 79, 251–254 (2006).

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