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1 June 2015 Radiobiology of Small Hive Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Prospects for Management Using Sterile Insect Releases
Danielle Downey, Stacey Chun, Peter Follett
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Small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), is considered a serious threat to beekeeping in theWestern Hemisphere, Australia, and Europe mainly due to larval feeding on honey, pollen, and brood of the European honeybee, Apis mellifera L. Control methods are limited for this pest. Studies were conducted to provide information on the radiobiology of small hive beetle and determine the potential for sterile insect releases as a control strategy. Adult males and females were equally sensitive to a radiation dose of 80 Gy and died within 5–7 d after treatment. In reciprocal crossing studies, irradiation of females only lowered reproduction to a greater extent than irradiation of males only. For matings between unirradiated males and irradiated females, mean reproduction was reduced by >99% at 45 and 60 Gy compared with controls, and no larvae were produced at 75 Gy. Irradiation of prereproductive adults of both sexes at 45 Gy under low oxygen (1–4%) caused a high level of sterility (>99%) while maintaining moderate survivorship for several weeks, and should suffice for sterile insect releases. Sterile insect technique holds potential for suppressing small hive beetle populations in newly invaded areas and limiting its spread.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Danielle Downey, Stacey Chun, and Peter Follett "Radiobiology of Small Hive Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Prospects for Management Using Sterile Insect Releases," Journal of Economic Entomology 108(3), 868-872, (1 June 2015).
Received: 9 December 2014; Accepted: 11 March 2015; Published: 1 June 2015

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Aethina tumida
Apis mellifera
honey bee
sterile insect technique
x-ray radiation
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