Evaluation of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner as an alternative control of small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)
Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther-Universität, Halle-Wittenberg 06099 Halle, Germany; Swiss Bee Research Centre, Swiss Federal Research Station for Animal Production and Dairy Products (ALP), CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland; Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, 6140 Grahamstown, South Africa; Eastern Bee research Institute, Yunnan Agricultural University, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
Small hive beetles, Aethina tumida Murray, are parasites and scavengers of honeybee colonies, Apis mellifera L., and have become an invasive species that can cause considerable damage in its new distribution areas. An effective subspecies of Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (=Bt) would provide an alternative to chemical control of this pest. Therefore, we tested three different Bt strains [B. thuringiensis, var. aizawai (B401®), B. thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Novodor®) and B. thuringiensis var. San Diego tenebrionis (Jackpot®)] and Perizin® (3.2% coumaphos), each applied on combs with a pollen diet fed to pairs of adult beetles. This evaluates the products for the suppression of successful small hive beetle reproduction. While none of the tested Bt strains showed a significant effect on the number of produced wandering larvae, we could confirm the efficacy of coumaphos for the control of small hive beetles. We further show that it is also efficient when applied with a lower concentration as a liquid on the combs. We suggest the continued search for efficient Bt strains naturally infesting small hive beetles in its endemic and new ranges, which may become a part of the integrated management of this pest. © Springer-Verlag 2006.
beetle; honeybee; integrated pest management; Aethina tumida; Apis mellifera; Bacillus thuringiensis; Bacillus thuringiensis serovar berliner; Coleoptera; Nitidulidae