This is to inform you that there have been recent instances of small hive beetles (SHB) found in shipments of honey bee queens originating from Hawaii. On April 7, 2011 one live SHB adult was found associated with packaging material associated with queens in Manitoba and SHB early larval instars of SHB were found in queens received in Alberta and Manitoba. Provincial Apiarists will be working closely with the CFIA and importers to ensure that Hawaiian queens are examined for SHB. Although there are protocols in place to mitigate the risks of introducing and spreading the SHB from Hawaii, we ask that you take the following steps to ensure that the queens that you have received are free of SHB.
Examine the inside and outside of each queen cage and shipping box.
- Pay particular attention to the area between the cage candy and wax paper, the groove along the length of the cage and any crevice or tight space on the cage or in the shipping box.
- Eggs of SHB 2/3 the size of a honey bee egg, white and elongated and typically laid in clusters.
- Larvae of SHB, range in size from a 2 mm to 11 mm in length and white to tan in colour with a dark tan head, forked process at the hind end, and three pairs of legs.
- Adult SHB are 5.5- 5.7mm in length, 3.2 mm in width, dark brown almost black, round, with clubbed antennae (i.e. the last three segments of the antennae larger than the previous ones). The body is covered with hard, short wings (elytra) that don’t cover the full length of body, thereby exposing a small part of the dorsal side of the abdomen.
- An extra safety precaution, you may want to consider:
- Transfer the queens to new queen cages before introductions to your colonies. Then, old queen cages and all associated packaging material should be incinerated or froze at -18°C for a minimum of 72 hours.
- Don’t bank queens in shipped cages in a queen bank unless you transfer them to new cages or you inspected them and they were free of SHB larvae.
- If you store queens in their shipped cages in honey house, place queen cages in a room away from your general storage area to protect hive boxes from infestation by any crawling SHB larvae.
If you find (or have reason to suspect) a small hive beetle with your shipment of queens, immediately contact the Provincial Apiculturist office (contact information on reverse side). For pictures of the various life stages of the small hive beetle, please visit the following website: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in854
Rhéal Lafrenière David Ostermann
Provincial Apiarist Pollination Apiarist