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Small Hive Beetle Taskforce Meeting – 26-27 February 2017, Netherlands

* DATE: October 09 – 13, 2017 * HOSTED BY: La Ruche des Sciences * VENUE: Pôle Ecotox, Cours Emilie du Chatelet, F-26300 Alixan, France


Wageningen University,
Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 
6708 PB Wageningen,


26 February 2017
27 February 2017




The Small Hive Beetle (SHB, Aethina tumida) has recently been introduced in Southern Italy in the province of Calabria. This species, new to Europe, parasitizes bee colonies with damaging effects.

The Small Hive Beetles was first reported in Italy on September 5th of 2014. In three small nuclei larvae as well as adults were found. The Italian national reference lab on bee diseases (NRL-IZS delle Venezie, Padua) later confirmed the identity of the specimen found. So far the outbreaks has led to 59 confirmed finds of Small Hive Beetle larvae and/or adults at local apiaries a one find on the island of Sicily (Dec 2014). As the beetle is able to survive the climatic conditions of the United States and Canada, it is likely to become established in most parts of Europe.

The small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida) originates from Sub-Saharan Africa. Within its natural range it’s hardly regarded as a plague, as most honey bee colonies are able to cope with its presence. Only weakened and diseased colonies are susceptible to damage by the beetle. To some extend this is also the case in areas outside of its natural range, such as the United States and Australia. The damage is mainly done by the larvae, which feed on combs and anything found in them. This also means that stored frames can be infected. As larvae feed their way through the combs, they defecate, leaving the remaining honey to yeast. Contaminated honey is unsuitable for consumption.


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