REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – Bees shipped to Ohio from B. J. Weeks of Ballground, Ga., were discovered to be infested with small hive beetle, a pest of honey bee colonies that destroys hives and makes honey putrid.
Ohio Director of Agriculture Fred L. Dailey has barred Weeks from shipping bees into Ohio.
Since April, 10 shipments of honey bees shipped to Ohio by Weeks were infested.
Weeks also failed to acquire the proper inspection certificates to ship bees into Ohio as required by state law.
Small hive beetle is easily spread to neighboring colonies through a normal life cycle and can survive in Ohio’s climate.
Contact ODA. Beekeepers who have purchased bees from Weeks should notify the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6270 so their hives can be properly treated.
Description. The adult beetle is small, about one-third the size of a bee. It’s reddish brown or black. The larvae are small, cream-colored and similar to young wax moth larvae.
The larvae eat pollen and wax, but will also eat honey, bee eggs and larvae. The larvae don’t produce silken tunnels, webbing or cocoons in the hive, as wax moth larvae do.
Detection. When opening an infested hive, beetles can be seen running across the combs to find hiding places. Adults may also be found under top covers or on bottom boards.
The smell of fermented honey from full supers in storage, or on active colonies, is a sign hive beetles may be present. There may also be a “decaying orange” odor from the fermented honey.
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