SMALL HIVE BEETLE (Aethina tumida Murray), A POTENTIAL THREAT TO BEEKEEPING IN CHILE
Ximena Araneda1 , Patricia Aldea2*, Ximena Freire1
In recent years, beekeeping has been affected by many factors, including pesticides, monoculture and deforestation as well as pests and diseases, which are causing the death of Apis mellifera and other pollinating species. One of the most recent threats is a parasitic beetle of bee colonies, native to sub-Saharan Africa, called small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray). It was first detected in the USA in 1996, and it has continued to expand across the American continent. In 2015, it was first discovered in Brazil, being the nearest country to Chile where it has been reported to date. The aim of this work was to carry out a literature review on small hive beetle (SHB) as it can be a potential threat to honey bee colonies in Chile. Adults of Aethina tumida feed on bee eggs while the larvae consume brood, pollen and honey, causing great damage to bee colonies. In addition, they defecate in honey, where a yeast present in their faeces, Kodamaea ohmerique, causes pollen and honey to ferment. Due to the damage it causes and its rapid advance through different continents, its biology and behaviour are being increasingly studied to explore control techniques and risk factors.
Key words: small hive beatle, Aethina tumida, plague, honey bees, Apis mellifera, control, parasite.
1 Departamento de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Acuícolas, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Temuco, Chile.
2 Corporación Apícola Chile, San Francisco de Mostazal – Región de O’Higgins, Chile.
* Corresponding author E-mail: [email protected]