Reviewing the confinement of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) by western honey bees (Apis mellifera)
JAMES D ELLIS
55 to 62
Although only scavengers in honey bee colonies in their native range of subsaharan Africa, small hive beetles can cause considerable damage in colonies of European honey bees in Australia and the south-eastern USA. Early research on the beetle focused mainly on its biology and control although there has recently been a shift towards studying its intra-colonial behaviour. Researchers have shown that when small hive beetles enter a bee colony, a cohort of guard bees confines them to the nest periphery (a bee response that limits beetle reproduction). Despite a myriad of bee behaviours that culminate in beetle confinement, the beetles are able to remain alive by soliciting food from their honey bee guards. Herein, I review confinement dynamics and the associated interactions.