Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine



September 28th, 2022

Versión en Castellano

(Espacio Apícola, September 29th, 2022) The Small Hive Beetle (SHB) was detected for the first time in South America more than six years ago near Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Brazilian authority took more than a year to declare its presence before the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE, for its acronym in French). During the first years of "official" presence of the SHB in Brazil, beekeepers who apply the sanitary rifle (burn the hives with SHB) were financially compensated. But once the compensation was suspended, the control of the plague were abandoned and it spread at least to the west, arriving last year to cross the border and be detected in Paraguay. Recently it was also detected in Bolivia.

The chronicler of the radio program La Miel en tu Radio, Amelia Tor Pisano, interviewed Paola Boggino of the National Animal Quality and Health Service (SENACSA) of Paraguay last Saturday. The agricultural engineer then referred to the surveillance plan for the Small Hive Beetle that has been implemented in Paraguay.

Specifically, the border surveillance program is limited to the departments of "Alto Paraguay" and "Amambai", considered vulnerable. In these departments, SENACSA set up sentinel apiaries, traps, and provided training to beekeepers so that they can recognize the Small Hive Beetle if it is present in commercial apiaries.

After the notification close to Pedro Juan Caballero city, where the SHB was identified for the first time in Paraguay - says the agronomist Boggino - surveillance work (monitoring) was carried out in all the apiaries within a radius of 100 km with the support of most beekeepers. So far, the apiary notified in Pedro Juan Caballero is the only one where the presence of the beetle has been detected and the current infestation level is very low compared to the initial outbreak. They recommend to beekeepers is that they need to know about the plague, keep very strong hives, since it is the worker bees themselves that defend their colony. They also recommend the beekeeper to incorporate the monitoring of this pest routinely, checking even the corners in the bottom of the hives, the cracks, as well as avoiding the formation of moisture inside the hive, since this is a precursor factor for beetle development. The hives with hight humidity were those where we could find the largest number of beetles -says Boggino-. The apiaries must be located in clean and clear places. The beetle prefers dark places and does not like dry environments. Finally, the hives must be in good condition to avoid holes or crevices where these beetles take refuge, "only the hive entrance should be the entrance".

Most information on this beetle comes from the United States where it arrived and spread many years ago from South Africa in shipments of fruit. One of its greatest researchers has been the professor at Clemson University, in South Carolina, USA, Dr. William Michael Hood, who edited and disseminated throughout the United States the "Manual for Integrated Pest Management of the Small Hive Beetle". This manual has been translated and published in the Argentine magazine Espacio Apícola (issue 115, March 2016) as soon as the presence of the SHB in Brazil was known, being available in Spanish for all Latin American People.

Information generated by "Espacio Apícola" the Argentine Beekeepers' Magazine


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