Free access
Volume 34, Number 6, November-December 2003
Page(s) 525 - 533
Apidologie 34 (2003) 525-533
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2003043

Response of the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) to honey bee (Apis mellifera) and beehive-produced volatiles

Alonso Suazo, Baldwyn Torto, Peter E.A. Teal and James H. Tumlinson

Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 1600/1700 SW 23rd Drive, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
(Received 15 October 2002; revised 18 February 2003; accepted 20 February 2003)

The response of male and female Small Hive Beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, to air-borne volatiles from adult worker bees, (Apis mellifera), pollen, unripe honey, beeswax, wax by-products ("slumgum"), and bee brood, was investigated in olfactometric and flight-tunnel choice bioassays. In both bioassay systems, males and females responded strongly to the volatiles from worker bees, freshly collected pollen and slumgum but not to those from commercially available pollen, beeswax and bee brood. The response to pollen volatiles was dose dependent, while response to volatiles from worker bees increased with both the number and age of the bees. Females were more responsive than males to the different volatile sources, with greater response in tests with unripe honey. In flight-tunnel choice tests, Super Q-trapped volatiles from worker bees elicited a response comparable to the response to living workers, while trapped volatiles from other sources were not attractive.

Key words: small hive beetle / Aethina tumida / hive volatiles / olfactometer / flight-tunnel

Correspondence and reprints: James H. Tumlinson

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2003