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Aethina tumida (Coleoptera; Nitidulidae) and species from the family Cetoniinae (e.g. Oplostomus fuligineus, Oplostomus haroldi; Coleoptera; Scarabaeidae) are known as the small, and the adult large hive beetle, respectively. [1] [2] The large hive beetle consumes honey, pollen and honey bee brood. It invades the hive, instead of breeding in it. [3] [4] The small hive beetle uses the honey bee hive as a protection from various environmental influences and as a food ressource. The larvae tunnel through the hive and comb store and cause damage to it (i.e. honey combs, brood and pollen). [1] Based on an endemic distribution range in sub-Saharan Africa, the SHB was brought over sea and introduced to other continents (i.e. America, Australia, Europe). [5] Assuming the beetles are not present in numerous amount and the honey bee colony is not already weakened, it can be considered, that an infestation with Cetoniinae does not significantly impact the colony. [2] Otherwise, the presence increases the rate of absconding in weakened honey bee colonies. In addition, they do play an important role as a vector of viruses and bacteria. [6]

Ethiopia: Small (SHB) hive beetles, native to the sub-Saharan Africa, [1] and the large (LHB) hive beetle are present, but so far it is considered as a negligible pest. However, a study by Alemayehu et al. (2018) revealed, that the small hive beetle may have a negative effect on honey bee colonies, especially in poor managed apiaries and/or hives. [7] They described, that the presence of SHB led to severe reduction in honey bee products (honey, pollen, and also brood). The amount of SHB was higher in months following the dearth periods. Unfortunately, there is no further information on the impact and infestation rate of Cetoniinae on Ethiopian honey bee colonies. [2] [5]

Indonesia: So far, there is no information on hive beetles in Indonesia (e.g. presence, infestation severity, ...), [1] but assuming a successful host swap, Oldroyd and colleagues believe, that A. tumida may become a threat to A. cerana due to infested shipments from Australia to Asia! [8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Neumann, P., Pettis, J. S., & Schäfer, M. O. (2015). Quo vadis Aethina tumida? Biology and control of small hive beetles. Apidologie, 47, 427–466.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pirk, C. W. W., Strauss, U., Yusuf, A. A., Démares, F., & Human, H. (2015). Honeybee health in Africa—a review. Apidologie, 47(3), 276–300.
  3. Crane, E. (1990). Bees and beekeeping: science, practice, and world resources. Heinemann Newnes.
  4. Ellis, J. D., Hepburn, H. R., Delaplane, K., Neumann, P., & Elzen, P. J. (2003). The effects of adult small hive beetles, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), on nests and flight activity of Cape and European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Apidologie 34, 399-408.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ellis, J. D., & Munn, P. A. (2005). The worldwide health status of honey bees. Bee World, 86(4), 88–101.
  6. Haylegebriel, T. (2014). Honey bee diseases, pest and their economic importance in Ethiopia. International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, 10(2), 527-535.
  7. Alemayehu, G., Amssalu, B., & Taye N. (2018). Investigating the effect and control of small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (murray) on honeybee colonies in Ethiopia. International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences, 6(8), 1-6.
  8. Oldroyd, B. P., & Nanork, P. (2009). Conservation of Asian honey bees. Apidologie, 40(3), 296–312.