SAP BEETLES- not quite so innocent!

At the pre-meeting last month we talked about Small Hive Beetle (SHB) and Varroa Destructor. After the meeting a member came up to me to ask what could be causing worms/larvae in his honey, when he was sure that this was not wax moth or SHB. I told him to google it, because I had no idea. WELL, I googled it and lo and behold those darn SAP beetles are the culprit. They are NOT a non issue anymore. So here is what I found out:

The SAP beetle is from Australia and other places and there are many types of sap beetles (strawberry and corn to name two.) In 2010 this beetle spread during almond pollination. Their infestation looks like wax moths (by the way, did you know that the wax moth really isn’t after your wax, but loves to lay its eggs in the pollen, giving the larvae food). They pupate in the soil, so nematodes are one of their pests, just like SHB. They have a 35 day life cycle and can fly long distances. They are attracted to empty supers like the SHB, and to feeders and pollen. I have seen them in my feeders since last year. They are also attracted to vinegar, so try placing a jar lid with vinegar placed above the inner cover and see if you trap any. The best thing you can do is disturb the soil around the hives and keep strong hives. If you have them, it is a good idea to pull completed honey supers and check them weekly if you can’t extract right away.


I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but knowing this may help save your honey crop. Go get ’em!