An insecticidal refuge trap to control adult small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in honey bee colonies.
Garry W Levot
The establishment of the small hive beetle in eastern Australia and its subsequent economic impact on bee keeping prompted research into the insecticidal control of adult beetles inside the hive. A refuge trap comprising a two piece rigid plastic shell encasing a fipronil-treated corrugated cardboard insert was developed. The precise dimensions of the harbourage entrance slots allow beetles to enter but prevent bee access or contact with the insert. Mean fiprole (fipronil plus its toxic metabolites) residues in honey ripened in research hives over one month while the devices were in place did not exceed 1 µg kg-1 and no ill effects on the bees were observed. A field trial was conducted at three western Sydney apiaries during autumn 2007 when beetle numbers were naturally increasing. Results demonstrated that deployment of a single harbourage on the bottom board of 26 infested hives caused an estimated 62% overall beetle mortality within 6 weeks and reduced mean live adult beetle numbers by 96%.
small hive beetle, fipronil, harbourage, refuge trap, Aethina tumida