Free access
Volume 36, Number 4, October-December 2005
Page(s) 523 - 532
Apidologie 36 (2005) 523-532
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005038

Response of the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) to a blend of chemicals identified from honeybee (Apis mellifera) volatiles

Baldwyn Tortoa, Alonso Suazob, Hans Albornb, James H. Tumlinsonb and Peter E.A. Tealb

a  IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
b  Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 1600/1700 SW 23rd Drive, Gainesville, Fl 32608, USA

(Received 17 May 2004 - revised 4 January 2005 - accepted 14 February 2005; Published online: 13 September 2005)

Abstract - Coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) analyses of Super Q collected worker honey bee volatiles revealed several components that elicited antennal responses by the small hive beetle Aethina tumida. However, GC-MS analysis showed that eight of these EAD-active components dominated the volatile profile released into a wind tunnel by living adult worker honeybees and rubber septa impregnated with a Super Q extract of the volatiles of the bees in a 15-min bioassay. These components were identified as isopentyl acetate, 2-heptanone, octanal, hexyl acetate, nonanal, 2-nonanone, methyl benzoate and decanal. In dual-choice wind tunnel bioassays, the Super Q extract and a blend of the eight components elicited dose-dependent upwind responses from beetles relative to a solvent control. At 375-bee day equivalents, the Super Q extract and the 8-component blend elicited 76 and 74% upwind response, respectively, which compared with 84% response from approx. 150-200 living worker honey bees. In contrast, the Super Q extract and the 8-component blend lured only approx. 12 and 3% of beetles, respectively, into a trap compared to 48% by the odor from living adult worker bees.

Key words: Aethina tumida / Apis mellifera / volatile / alarm pheromone / wind tunnel

Corresponding author: Peter E.A. Teal

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005