Managing Small Hive Beetles

What you can do to prevent or limit their damage

Author: Jon Zawislak, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture

Update: To view and print a PDF of Small Hive Beetle Management in Mississippi by Audrey Sheridan, Harry Fulton, and Jon Zawislak,  Click Here

The small hive beetle Aethina tumida (SHB) is an invasive pest of bee hives, originally from sub-Saharan Africa.  These beetles inhabit almost all honey bee colonies in their native range, but they do little damage there and …

How can I tell the difference between small hive beetle larvae and wax moth larvae?

Small hive beetle larvae often congregate in corners, possibly to retain heat. This clustering distinguishes beetle larvae from wax moth larvae that are found scattered throughout weak colonies. Other distinguishing characteristics include size. Beetle larvae never reach the size of mature wax moth larvae. Also, beetle larvae have three pairs of jointed, “true” legs located behind the head. Wax moth larvae have many small, fleshy, uniform legs along the length of the body. And the bodies of beetle larvae have …

What are small hive beetles and where did they come from?

The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is a pest of honey bees, that was first discovered damaging honey bee colonies in Florida in the spring of 1998. It is native to South Africa. When and how it arrived in North America is unknown; however, the earliest known collection was made in 1996 in Charleston, SC. By 1999 it was established in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina. In 2000, it was discovered in Alabama, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, South …