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26 February 2022 Could Europe Apply a Suitable Control Method for the Small Hive Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)?
Giorgio Sabella, Rosaria Mulè, Lavinia Robba, Alfonso Agrò, Barbara Manachini
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The European bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), is a fundamental resource for the pollination of a great variety of botanical species used by humans for sustenance. Over the last few decades, bee colonies have become vulnerable to a new pest that has advanced beyond its native sub-Saharan territory: the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). This currently presents a pressing problem in the United States and Australia, but it has also been recorded in Portugal and Italy and it is likely to spread in the rest of Europe too. This study represents a systematic review, based on EFSA guidelines, of the various control treatments for small hive beetles in order to identify the most effective methods as well as, those with no effects on bee colonies. The results show that the bulk of these studies were performed in the United States and that a number of treatments are suitable for the control of A. tumida, though some have negative effects on bees while others have low effectiveness or are ineffective. The best results are those with the entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Steinernema and Heterorhabditis, but also with formic acid or diatomaceous earth. Various products containing insecticides have been effective, for example, Perizin (Bayer), GardStar (Y-Tex), CheckMite+ strips (Bayer), but Apithor (Apithor) cannot be used in Europe because it contains Fipronil, which has been banned since 2013. Some common products like bleach and detergent have also been effective.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Giorgio Sabella, Rosaria Mulè, Lavinia Robba, Alfonso Agrò, and Barbara Manachini "Could Europe Apply a Suitable Control Method for the Small Hive Beetle (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)?," Journal of Economic Entomology 115(2), 401-411, (26 February 2022).
Received: 5 June 2021; Accepted: 29 December 2021; Published: 26 February 2022

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European bee
hive pest
small hive beetle
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