Small hive beetle response to red light

We have all seen small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) scurry away from the frame tops and move down into the darker regions when opening a Langstroth bee hive. It is generally assumed that they are moving away from the introduced sunlight. A similar response is seen if we remove a super full of bees and place it on an upturned cover. The SHB tend to move down in the super and congregate in dark corners in the cover and among the frames.

A number of experiments were carried out to see what response the SHB had to red light as a possible method of control. Tests were also carried out looking at the internal heating effects of acrylic hive covers.

The conclusion from these experiments : It is doubtful that using red light mechanisms to control SHB is going to be effective but these results are not conclusive. Other studies do seem to agree with these findings.

The Report…