Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs




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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs CSG 15

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esearch and Development

Final Project Report

(Not to be used for LINK projects)






Two hard copies of this form should be returned to:

Research Policy and International Division, Final Reports Unit

DEFRA, Area 301

Cromwell House, Dean Stanley Street, London, SW1P 3JH.

An electronic version should be e-mailed to resreports@defra.gsi.gov.uk










Project title

Detection and control techniques for the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida (Murray); (Coleoptera, Nitidulidae)

     





DEFRA project code

HH3225SHB







Contractor organisation and location

Central Science Laboratory

Sand Hutton



York YO41 1LZ




Total DEFRA project costs

£ 8,000







Project start date

16/12/02




Project end date

16/04/03



Executive summary (maximum 2 sides A4)
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  1. Following on from a review of the risks to UK beekeeping from the small hive beetle (SHB) (Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)), and the more recent incursion of the SHB into Australia, this review aimed to evaluate possible approaches to the detection and control of the small hive beetle under UK conditions.

  2. This review concentrated on the use of traps within apiaries to provide early detection systems using pheromones or similar lures and control of the beetle within the colony, apiary and honey-house once infestations are confirmed.

  3. The review showed that partial control of SHB could be achieved, relatively readily, by use of a chemical soil drench. However, many detection and control methods for SHB require further development and evaluation under UK conditions before they could be utilised.

  4. As a matter of urgency there is a need to develop early detection (and kill) techniques for SHB which could be employed in apiaries at high risk, e.g. near ports, and thus integrated into the NBU field service surveillance and monitoring programmes. This would require identification and evaluation of attractants, possible lures, and repellents/methods of masking colony odours, and the development/adaptation of traps.

  5. There is an urgent need to develop an effective in-hive treatment for use in the UK. The review suggested that this may be best achieved by evaluation of Bt strains as a biocontrol method (which would also be applicable to stored comb) and of ecdysteroid agonists currently developed as coleopteran specific insecticides. Control methods which are suitable for in-hive use should also be evaluated for use with stored comb in honey-houses to provide an additional method of control.

  6. There is an urgent need to identify an appropriate chemical and application rate for use as a soil drench in the short term as a rapid response to the detection of the SHB in the UK. There is also a medium term need to develop a more environmentally sensitive alternative to chemical soil drenches. The first priority is evaluation of nematodes which appear to offer the greatest opportunity for use in SHB larval control in soil.






Scientific report (maximum 20 sides A4)
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Introduction


Following on from a review of the risks to UK beekeeping from the small hive beetle (SHB) (Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae)) (Brown et al. 2002), and the more recent incursion of the SHB into Australia (Animal Health Australia 2003), this review aims to evaluate possible approaches to the detection and control of the small hive beetle under UK conditions. The detection of the beetle within the colony is described in detail in a new leaflet prepared by the NBU (Brown and Morton, 2003). This review concentrates on the use of traps within apiaries to provide early detection systems using pheromones or similar lures and control of the beetle within the colony, apiary and honey-house once infestations are confirmed.
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