bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Friday, August 06, 2004

Swiss get twitchy about hive beetle

The Swiss are concerned that the small hive beetle may start decimating bee colonies in Europe following the import of 1000 bee colonies from the USA into Germany last year. The beetle, which is indigenous to South Africa, has spread to the USA and elsewhere and causing real damage by eating bee larvae and comb.

The Swiss have already undertaken a risk assessment of the dangers the beetle poses to their 200,000 bee colonies and concluded that the risk to individual beekeepers is medium to high.
“The parasite is capable of destroying large numbers of colonies... There are no reasonable grounds to believe the beetle can be eradicated,” said Anton Imdorf, an agro-engineer at the Swiss Bee Research Centre.
I don't think there is any evidence that the beetle has arrived in the EU yet, but it's thought that, like varroa, it's only a matter of time until it makes an appearance.



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