Small hive beetle adults and larvae infest beehives, feeding on stored pollen and honey until combs are damaged. Brood may be killed by the burrowing larvae. In some cases, bees abandon beetle infested colonies. As the beetle population grows, the honey ferments and bubbles out of the cells. The fermenting honey has the odor of decaying oranges.
Native to South Africa, the small hive beetle was first detected in the United States in Florida in June 1998. The pest was detected in Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties in North Carolina in late 1998. In response to these and subsequent finds, a quarantine was enacted to limit the movement of the small hive beetle in infested hives. The quarantine was lifted in July 2003, but beekeepers are asked to voluntarily limit movement of hives away from beetle infested yards. As of February 2004, beetles had been found in 47 counties, widely distributed across the state.
Beekeepers are asked to limit movement of honeybees, used supers, hive bodies, bottom boards, tops, inner covers, frames and related items that may be infested with small hive beetles.
Related Links: Additional Information and Photographs
Plant Protection Section - Don Hopkins - Apiary Inspection Supervisor
1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
(919) 218-3310; FAX: