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Absence of small hive beetles from flowering plants

Willcox, B. K., Howlett, B. G. and Neumann, P. (2017) Absence of small hive beetles from flowering plants. Journal of Apicultural Research, 56 (5). pp. 643-645. ISSN 0078-6913

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00218839.2017.1355347


Small hive beetles (SHBs), Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), are parasites and scavengers of honey bee colonies in their endemic range in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in their new distribution range. Even though flowering plants may in principle also serve as a food for SHBs, evidence so far suggest that this beetle is unlikely to visit flowers. However, field data remain scarce calling for more efforts to investigate the potential of flowers as reservoirs for this pest of social bees. Here, we conducted extensive field surveys of flowering plants in Australia. Despite the very large sample size, not a single adult SHB was found on any of the flowers. This is in line with an earlier field survey. Since SHBs were also absent from fruits in another surveys, it appears as if alternative food sources outside of bee colonies are of minor importance only for SHBs. © 2017 International Bee Research Association.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:87906
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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