Free Access
Volume 38, Number 3, May-June 2007
Page(s) 272 - 280
Published online 07 March 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 272-280
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007004

A DNA method for screening hive debris for the presence of small hive beetle (Aethina tumida)

Lisa Warda, Mike Browna, Peter Neumannb, c, d, Selwyn Wilkinsa, Jeff Pettise and Neil Boonhama

a  Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, England
b  Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Hoher Weg 4, 06099 Halle (Saale), Germany
c  Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, 61440 Grahamstown, South Africa
d  Eastern Bee research Institute of Yunnan Agricultural University, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
e  USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory Bldg. 476 BARC-E Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

(Received 17 April 2006 - Revised 9 October 2006 - Accepted 23 October 2006 - Published online 7 March 2007)

Abstract - The small hive beetle (SHB) is a parasite and scavenger of honey bee colonies. It has recently become an invasive species creating the need for an efficient and reliable detection method. We present a method to screen hive debris for the presence of SHB using real-time PCR in conjunction with an automated DNA extraction protocol. The method was able to detect DNA from SHB eggs, larvae and adult specimens collected from Africa, Australia and North America. The method was used to successfully detect SHB DNA extracted from spiked and naturally infested debris. An Apis mellifera 18S rRNA real-time PCR assay was used as an internal positive control (IPC). The IPC showed that the method was reliable for detection as extraction efficiency was consistent between hive debris samples. If the SHB were to establish at new locations, the availability of such a method would be a valuable support tool to enable species identification and rapid screening of hive debris for delimiting surveys.

Key words: Aethina tumida / real-time PCR / honey bee / small hive beetle / hive debris

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007