Small hive beetle surveillance project

06 July 2023

Calling all beekeepers! Biosecurity New Zealand are on the search for volunteer hives to participate in the small hive beetle surveillance project.

Small hive beetle is a pest of honey bees native to sub-Saharan Africa where it is easily managed. Small hive beetle is not in New Zealand but is now present in many other countries around the world and has been in Australia since 2002. The beetle forces beekeepers to change their beekeeping practices and adds costs. For example, small colonies or stored honey supers become vulnerable to attack and devastation by the beetle.

Any sightings of small hive beetle should be reported as soon as possible to Biosecurity New Zealand by using the online report form or by calling the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

The small hive beetle surveillance project aims to make volunteer beekeepers more aware about this exotic pest, and to involve them in surveillance for it by maintaining traps for the beetle in sentinel apiaries throughout New Zealand. If the beekeepers come across any suspect organisms during their routine checks, they will report these to Biosecurity New Zealand right away. The beetle traps and hive stickers are all supplied by Biosecurity New Zealand.

Early detection of the small hive beetle, and other bee pests and diseases, is an important part of our biosecurity system. If you own hives and would like to participate in the project, get in touch with the small hive beetle team at [email protected] to get involved or learn more.

Image: A sentinel hive from the small hive beetle surveillance project.