Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Entomology (MS)

Degree Level





Donald C. Steinkraus

Committee Member

Ashley P. Dowling

Second Committee Member

Frederick W. Spiegel


Biological sciences, Honey bee, Malpighian tubule, Nitudulidae, Pathogen, Protozoan, Sap beetle


The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida, SHB) is an invasive pest of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the United States. The adult and larval beetles can ruin honey through fecal contamination and by vectoring a mutualistic yeast (Kodamaea ohmeri) that causes honey fermentation. These beetles also impact honey bee colonies by feeding on bee eggs, bee brood, and pollen. Severe beetle infestations can cause colonies to decline or abscond.

The SHB has been present in the United States since at least 1998. Since then, there have been several published papers on how to successfully rear these beetles. Laboratory rearing of SHBs allows for immediate access to adults and immature stages without having to constantly collect them from infested bee colonies. A clean and cost effective method for rearing SHBs is presented in this thesis.

There is little published information on the external morphology of the SHB. Murray, Schmolke, Menier, and Jouan were some of the few authors to publish on this subject. Photography of the adult and larval stages are provided with emphasis on the adult morphology.

Chemical and cultural controls are typically used to keep SHBs at a tolerable level. Only a few articles have been published on the biological control of SHBs. While some generalist fungal pathogens and commercially available nematodes have been reported to attack SHBs, there have been no reports of any host-specific predators, parasitoids, or pathogenic protozoa, fungi, nematodes, bacteria, or viruses. One protozoan pathogen has been discovered in the process of writing this thesis, but little is known about its life cycle, the effects that it has on SHBs, and whether this pathogen infects other beetles or insects. Dissection techniques for the adults and larvae are discussed in this thesis.

Included in

Entomology Commons