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External attractant trap for Small Hive Beetle
Summary Over the last decade both the range and populations of the small hive beetle (SHB) have increased such that it is regarded as a major apiary pest in warm coastal regions. A number of control measures have been developed in the last few years, most based around some form of inhive trapping that rely on capability of bees to chase sufficient numbers of the beetles into the traps. There is potential for an alternative approach that would also be compatible with the practises and economics of commercial beekeepers who need to move large numbers of hives around. The development of an external “attract and kill trap” would meet this purpose. Research in the USA and by our group has identified a range of volatiles, particularly those associated with the SHB driven fermentation of hive products which are highly attractive to the SHB. This project would build on these findings to identify suitable blends of synthetic compounds, based on selected fermentation volatiles, for use in a lure to deploy in an external trap for this pest. Investigations to determine if this beetle also produces an aggregation pheromone will be conducted; as such a pheromone will boost the attractiveness of an external trap. This project meets objectives one and two of the RIRDC Honeybee RD&E program 20122017; (“Reduce the incidence and impact of pests and diseases on honeybees” and “Increase the productivity and profitability of beekeepers”). It also meets the 2014/2015 research priority to “develop an external trap for small hive beetle”.
Program Honey Bee
Research organisation The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Objective summary Recent work by DAFFQ (Hayes et al, 2013), demonstrated that odours produced by SHB driven fermenting hive products are more attractive than hive products that have not been acted upon by SHB larvae. This attraction increases through time and correlates with changes in volatile organic compounds that we identified with gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GCMS), and serve as the basis for the current proposal. The overall aim of the project is the development of an external trap for the small hive beetle, to assist commercial and hobbyist beekeepers in the management and control of this apiary pest.

1. To determine which individual component compounds from fermenting hive products are attractive to small hive beetle (laboratory)
2. To determine the optimum blend of the above compounds, in terms of attractiveness and longevity (laboratory)
3. To develop a suitable attractant lure (using the synthetic blend identified above) for use in a external trap for the small hive beetle (laboratory)
4. To investigate optimal trap design including shape, colour and toxicant (laboratory)
5. To investigate the occurrence of an aggregation pheromone in the small hive beetle, the addition of which could enhance trap success (laboratory / field)
6. To examine differences in hive volatile profiles between hives carrying very high and low numbers of SHB (field/laboratory)
7. To evaluate the efficacy of the external SHB trap in apiaries located in a variety of locations in NSW and Queensland, over two summer seasons (field).
Project Stage Current
Project start date Friday, June 06, 2014
Project completion date Sunday, December 31, 2017
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Safeguarding Australia
Rural priority Biosecurity
RIRDC goal HBE-Reduce the incidence and impact of pests and diseases on the beekeeping and pollination services industries
Principal researcher Diana Leemon
Research manager Dave Alden
Admin contact Paul Hickey