Free Access
Volume 38, Number 4, July-August 2007
Page(s) 380 - 389
Published online 10 October 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 380-389
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007024

Composition of volatiles from fermenting pollen dough and attractiveness to the small hive beetle Aethina tumida, a parasite of the honeybee Apis mellifera

Baldwyn Tortoa, b, Richard T. Arbogastc, Hans Albornc, Alonso Suazoc, Dennis van Engelsdorpd, Drion Bouciasa, James H. Tumlinsone and Peter E.A. Tealc

a  IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
b  Current Address International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, PO Box 30772-00 100, Nairobi, Kenya
c  USDA/ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, 1600/1700 SW 23rd Dr., Gainesville, FL 32608, USA
d  Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, PA 17110, USA
e  Dept. of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

(Received 9 October 2006 - Revised 28 February 2007 - Accepted 8 March 2007 - Published online 10 October 2007)

Abstract - The response of the small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida Murray, to volatiles from a pollen-based diet conditioned by the feeding of 100 adult virgin female or male SHBs (4-8 weeks old) for 1, 3, 7 or 14 days is described and compared to that of the same diet inoculated with the yeast Kodamaea ohmeri (NRRL Y-30722), isolated from the beetle. In a wind tunnel, volatiles from pollen dough conditioned by beetles of either sex for 3 or 7 days lured significantly more beetles into traps than volatiles from unconditioned dough. In contrast, trap captures with volatiles from dough conditioned for 1 and 14 days were weakly attractive. In cage bioassays, when naïve, unfed, virgin, SHBs (3-4 days old) were given a choice between yeast-inoculated pollen dough and non-inoculated dough, the responses were similar to those obtained in the wind tunnel with dough conditioned by SHBs for 3 and 7 days. Chemical analysis revealed high levels of fermentation-related products in volatiles that attracted the beetle.

Key words: Aethina tumida / Apis mellifera / pollen dough / volatile / electrophysiology

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007