Small Hive Beetle in Southern Italy

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Changed on: 17.06.2021

Aufhebung der Verkehrsbeschränkungen für Bienen, Hummeln und Imkerei-Ausrüstung aus Sizilien

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AGES-Informationsfolder Kleiner Bienenstockkäfer

In Sizilien war sowohl im November 2014 als auch im Juni 2019 Befall durch den Kleinen Bienenstockkäfer bei einzelnen Bienenständen festgestellt worden. Diese Fälle ließen sich jeweils auf vereinzelte Ereignisse der Verschleppung vom Festland zurückführen und durch strenge Bekämpfungsmaßnahmen, begleitet von einem umfangreichen Monitoring, tilgen.

Aufgrund der erfolgreichen Tilgung des Kleinen Bienenstockkäfers aus der Region Sizilien konnte die Situation im Durchführungsbeschluss (EU) 2021/597 der Kommission neu bewertet werden. Der Beschluss besagt, dass das Verbot der Versendung von Honigbienen, Hummeln, unverarbeiteten Imkerei-Nebenerzeugnissen, Imkerei-Ausrüstung und für den menschlichen Verzehr bestimmte Imkereierzeugnissen in Waben ab 21.4.2021 nur mehr für die Region Kalabrien gilt.

The small hive beetle has been in South Italy since 2014.

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Kleiner Bienenstockkäfer

In the region of Calabria, the area of the first appearance in 2014, there have been finds of the small hive beetle in bee colonies every year since then, despite the very rigorous and continuously implemented extensive monitoring and control measures. Thus this pest is to be regarded as established in this region. In 2016, the small hive beetle was also detected in the province of Cosenza, about 100 km away from the protection zone around Gioia Tauro, at five apiaries of a farm, which indicates a unique carry-over.

The situation is different for Sicily. Here, in 2014, there was evidence of an apiary whose colonies had been in Calabria in the summer of 2014 and had subsequently migrated back to Sicily. After the control measures had been taken, the extensive inspections in Sicily did not reveal any further findings until 2017, so that the restriction and surveillance zone there could be lifted in March 2017 by EU implementation decision (EU 2017/370).

From 2015 onwards, the veterinary authorities in these areas set up surveillance offshoots (so-called "sentinel peoples") in order to obtain a picture of the infestation situation.

In the rest of Italy, the monitoring activities have so far revealed no findings of the small hive beetle.

The data of the confirmed cases are available on the following websites in tabular form as well as in figures:

http://www.izsvenezie.com/aethina-tumida-in-italy/ (english)
http://www.izsvenezie.it/aethina-tumida-in-italia/
(italian)

Herkunft und bisher bekannte Verbreitungsgebiete

Der Kleine Bienenstockkäfer stammt ursprünglich aus Afrika südlich der Sahara. Er gehört systematisch zur Familie der Glanzkäfer. Ausgehend von diesem Vorkommen tauchte er 1996 in den USA auf, 2002 in Australien. Inzwischen wurde dieser gefährliche Bienenschädling in viele weitere Länder verschleppt und es gibt Vorkommen in Nord-, Mittel- und Südamerika, auf den Philippinen, in Südkorea und seit 2014 in Süditalien. Für Europa ist Letzteres bereits die zweite Einschleppung. Erstmals waren dessen Larven in Königinnenversandkäfigen nach einem Königinnenimport von Texas nach Portugal (2004) entdeckt worden. Durch die rasche Entdeckung und die rigorosen behördlichen Maßnahmen erfolgte aber keine Etablierung und der Befall konnte wieder getilgt werden.

Die durch einen Befall verursachten Schäden umfassen nicht nur direkte Schäden an Bienenvölkern, sondern auch schwere wirtschaftliche Verluste aufgrund von Import- und Exportsperren für Bienen und Königinnen aus Befallsgebieten.

Infestation or suspicion are notifiable!

In the EU Notification Directive 82/894/EEC (as last amended by Commission implementing Decision 2012/737/EU amending Annexes I and II to this Directive), the infestation with the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is listed as a notifiable disease in Annex I. According to the Austrian Bee Disease Act, both an infestation with the small hive beetle and the suspicion of its occurrence are notifiable (Bienenseuchengesetz, § 3. (1) 1. and 2.).

Legal regulations for the import of bees

As there is also a danger that the beetle will be imported in Austria, it is absolutely necessary to comply with the legal regulations on the import of bees. The EU rules for intra-Community trade in live bees and bumble bees state that "bees must come from areas within a radius of at least 100 km where there are no restrictions related to the suspected or confirmed presence of the small hive beetle" (Part 2 of Annex E to Directive 92/65/EEC). As the whole region of Calabria is subject to restrictions as a surveillance zone (after 2014/909/EU), movements of colonies from the region of Calabria and a 100 km wide ring around it are not allowed (see figure).

Appearance and way of life of the small hive beetle

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Adult Small Beehive Beetle

The adult beetle is 5-7 mm long, 2.5-3.5 mm wide, brightly coloured after hatching, later to brown-black. The larva is up to 1 cm long, creamy white, has three pairs of legs and two rows of bristles on the back.
The eggs are about 2/3 the size of bee eggs and are usually laid in heaps or individually in cracks.

Adult beetles live in bee colonies, but can also survive outside. In contrast to the Varroa mite, it does not depend on bees as a means of transport, but can actively fly at least 10 km to visit a colony. After entering the colony, the female lays a large number of eggs in several stages. The larva hatches from the egg and eats brood, pollen supplies and honey in the colony. When fully grown, it leaves the colony and pupates in the soil near the colony. Depending on the climate, 1 to 6 generations per year are possible. The adult beetles can spend the winter in the winter grape and thus survive in cold regions (e.g. USA, Canada).

Precautionary measures to prevent importation

Since there is a possibility of a previously unidentified occurrence of this pest, neither bee colonies nor queens should be moved from Italy or returned to Austria in the course of migration for precautionary reasons. The rules for intra-Community trade in live bees and bumble bees state that "bees must come from areas within a radius of at least 100 km where there are no restrictions related to the suspected or confirmed presence of the small hive beetle" (Part 2 of Annex E to Directive 92/65/EEC).

Further Informationen

 

 


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