Biocontrol of the Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) Using Fungal Pathogens

Monday, March 14, 2016
Oak Forest Ballroom Prefunction Area (Sheraton Raleigh Hotel)
Keyerra Rozier , Entomology, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Lambert Kanga , Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Anthony Ananga , Center for Viticulture & Small Fruit Research, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
The small hive beetle (SHB) Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), originally from sub-Saharan Africa, is an invasive pest of bee hive, where it feeds on pollen, honey, and bee brood. The SHB is a major threat to the long-term sustainability and economic prosperity of beekeeping and, as a consequence, to agriculture and the environment through disruption to pollination services, the value of which is $14.6 billion. Entomopathogenic fungi can be found in various places and can be isolated from insects, soil, and other substrates.  In this study, Metarhizium anisopliae was used as entomopathogenic fungi that have proven to control several agricultural insect pests. M. anisopliae, is characterized by its high virulence, rapid germination, which makes it viable potential biological control agent. A biological control such as M. anisopliae is likely to be more selective and thus less damaging than chemicals to non-target organisms. Prelimanry results indicted that the percentage of survival of honey bee colonies was significantly higher in colonies treated with M. anisopliae 5630 spores than ones treated with M. anisopliae F52. In addition, the expected results could provide additional avenues and useful insights in the development of an environment sound management of SHB populations.
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