small hive beetle
The small hive beetle, Athina tumida, is a native of South Africa but is now being found in different parts of the world where it is causing great damage by destroying and contaminating colonies.
Colonies invaded by SHB are commonly described as a mess. The SHB larvae tunnel through combs and cappings, eating and destroying them. [Fig 1] and often causing the honey to ferment giving off an orange-like smell.
In very heavy infestations, bees simply abscond from the hive. Adult SHB can live for up to six months in a hive before their presence becomes obvious. The females will lay many eggs in cracks and crevices in the hive. The larvae then emerge to do the damage and before pupating leave the hive and bury themselves in ground nearby.
Prevention and Treatment
There is no known way to eradicate SHB. VitaFeed Gold and VitaFeed Green will help keep colonies strong and healthy and lower the risk of a severe attack.