Hive Beetle Traps: National Management Survey 2010-2011

This installment reviews the differences in reported winter colony losses related to the use of hive beetle traps. Beekeepers who reported use of Small Hive Beetle Traps in at least some of their  operations reported losing, on average, 9.2 fewer colonies per 100 (26.3%) than those who did not report using Small Hive Beetle traps.

Hive Beetle Traps

Figure 1. Adult small hive beetles on comb with bees.

The small hive beetle is an opportunistic pest of honey bee colonies (Figure 1). When left unchecked by the adult honey bee population inside colonies, the larval stage of this pest can feed on honey, pollen, and developing brood, destroying the colony. Various traps have been developed to control small hive beetles. It is not thought that small hive beetles are a significant cause of losses over winter (Schäfer et al 2010).

Based on the 2011 – 2012 survey, beekeepers who reported use of Small Hive Beetle Traps in at least some of their  operations reported losing, on average, 9.2 fewer colonies per 100 (26.3%) than those who did not report using Small Hive Beetle traps (Figure 2). When breaking this down to region (multiregional, Northeast, Southeast), no significant difference between those who used traps and did not use traps was found. However, when looking at the data by sub-region, beekeepers in the northeast who reported use of Small Hive Beetle traps reported loosing 11.1 fewer colonies per 100 (26.2%) than those in the northeast who did not report using Small Hive Beetle traps. In all other regions beekeepers who used small hive beetle traps did not report loosing fewer or more colonies over the winter.

Small Hive Beetles populations, and thus perhaps their apparent negative effect on colony survivorship, are dependent on many regional factors (i.e. climate and soil type). These pests are also not found in every region of the country. Thus the regional break down here clouds some observable regional effects. Response rates within sub-regions were low, so caution must be used when interpreting these data.

Figure 2. Average winter colony mortality suffered by beekeepers who used or did not use Small Hive Beetle traps in at least some of the colonies in their operation, between April 1 2010 and April 1 2011.

We also asked beekeepers to indicate the proportion of their operation where traps where used. Beekeepers who reported use of Small Hive Beetle Traps in 1 to 50% or their colonies, as well as those who reported use in all of their colonies, lost fewer colonies than beekeepers who did not use Small Hive Beetle traps (Figure 3).

We did not collect data on the type of Small Hive Beetle Trap used or the length of time these traps were used.

Average winter colony mortality suffered by beekeepers who used or did not use Small Hive Beetle traps in at least some of the colonies in their operation, between April 1 2010 and April 1 2011, by proportion of use in their operation.

This information is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade names do not imply endorsement by the Bee Informed Partnership or its members. The results presented here are the summary of the population who responded. The sample may not be representative of the beekeeping population at large. These results simply highlight differences in the sample population. The results cannot be considered conclusive, causative, protective, or attest to product efficacy or lack of efficacy

Methods

Management Survey 2010 – 2011

How average losses were calculated and presented  |  Watch a vlog here

Appendix items

Download the complete reports in the list below

Small Hive Beetle Control

All survey reports listed here: Bee Informed National Management Survey 2010-2011 

Reference

Schäfer, M. O., W. Ritter, J. S. Pettis, and P. Neumann. 2010. Winter losses of honeybee colonies (Hymenoptera: Apidae): the role of infestations with Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Varroa destructor (Parasitiformes: Varroidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 103: 10-16.

Written By: The Bee Informed Team

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