Small Hive BeetleThe Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Murray), was discovered in hives at Richmond, New South Wales in late October 2002. It has subsequently been found near Beerwah in Queensland. Prior to this date the Small Hive Beetle was not known to exist in Australia.
The adult Small Hive Beetle are broad flattened beetles about 5-7 mm long and dark brown to nearly black in colour. Larvae are elongate white grubs. Pupae are white to brown and are found in soil beneath the hive. From egg to adult takes 38-81 days with five generations a year. Adults and larvae inhabit hives where they feed on stored honey and pollen. Combs are damaged and brood killed; honey ferments and bubbles out of the cells. Damage is so severe where this pest occurs in the Western Hemisphere that thousands of hives are killed by it each year.
All beekeepers should inspect their hives for the presence of these beetles on a regular basis. There are species of native beetles that are similar to the Small Hive Beetle. If you are not certain what kind of beetle you have found, submit a sample. Details on how to collect samples, where to send them to and photographs of the beetle and larvae can be found on the Small Hive Beetle Surveillance web page.
Further information on the Small Hive Beetle can be sourced on the NSW Agriculture website:
Also see the following related link:
Embargo on Beekeeping Equipment
Contact: Veterinary Officer (Disease Control and Surveillance)Debra Grull
DEVONPORT TAS 7310
Phone: 03 6421 7641, 0428 253 828
Fax: 03 6421 7666
Department switchboard: 1300 368 550 (local call cost within Australia)
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