The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a parasite for honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, and was recently introduced to the European continent, accidentally. Based on the literature, a model was developed by using regional meteorological variables (daily values of minimum, maximum and mean air temperature as well as mean soil temperature at 50 mm depth) to calculate the time-point of hive invasion by A. tumida in springtime, the development duration of pupae as well as the number of generations of A. tumida per year. Luxembourg was used as a test region for our model for 2005 to 2013. The model output indicates a successful surviving of the Small Hive Beetle in Luxembourg with two up to three generations per year. Additionally, based on our meteorological data sets a first migration of SHB to apiaries can be expected from mid of March up to April. Our approach can be transferred easily to other countries to estimate the risk potential for a successful introduction and spreading of A. tumida in Western Europe.
Australia does not have varroa mite. However, we investigated the efficacy of modified hive bottom boards used for varroa mite management in honeybee colonies to control small hive beetle, Aethina tumida. We assessed infestation levels between hives fitted with tube, mesh and conventional (solid) bottom boards in Richmond, NSW eastern Australian. Colonies housed in hives with tube bottom boards were significantly superior to those in hives with conventional and mesh bottom boards. Even though in-hive beetle populations were generally low during the trial period, hives fitted with tube bottom boards however, had fewer small hive beetles than other hives. Although the trial was conducted over only one season, it suggests that there may be benefit in Australian beekeepers changing from using conventional bottom boards even with the absence of varroa mite, when small hive beetle is present.