Small Steps to Help Honey Bees
Scientists are trying to stop the small hive beetle (SHB, Aethina tumida) that carries pathogens into honey bee colonies. A team led by Daniel Gruner of the University of Maryland received funds from the Northeastern IPM Center to develop strategies to manage the beetle. Gruner tested natural enemies, biopesticides, and trapping methods. Although a natural enemy (a nematode) would attack SHB in the lab, neither the nematode nor the biopesticides proved to be a significant defense in operational honey bee colonies. However, in-hive trapping strategies for SHB showed promise. Gruner reached 22 local and regional associations of beekeepers over the 24-month project. As a result, hundreds of beekeepers gained an increased awareness of this emerging pest of honey bees and trapping methods that could help stop it.