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Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
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Small Hive Beetle
Varroa Control
Small Hive Beetle
I do not know yet

Early reaction measures, management and surveillance of small hive beetle in Italy

Franco Mutinelli1*, Giovanni Federico2, Antonino Ammendola3, Gianluca Grandinetti4, Andrea Maroni Ponti5

1Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Viale dell'Università, 10 - 35020 Legnaro (PD) Italy, Tel.: + 39 049 8084287, e-mail:

2Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, 89068 San Gregorio (RC), Italy

3ASP, Servizio Veterinario, 89128 Reggio Calabria, Italy

4Veterinary Service Task Force, Regione Calabria, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

5Ministero della Salute, DGSAF, 00144 Rome, Italy

Aethina tumida Murray (small hive beetle, SHB) was firstly reported in Italy on 5 September 2014. Three nuclei containing honey bees (Apis mellifera) in a clementine (citrus) orchard near the Gioia Tauro port in the Calabria region (South-west of Italy) were heavily infested with adults and larvae. 59 SHB infested apiaries have been detected in Calabria region and one in Sicily region until December 2014. No further infested apiaries have been detected in 2015. A. tumida infestation is a notifiable disease of honey bees in the European Union as well as an OIE listed disease. Early reaction measures adopted in Italy require immediate notification of A. tumida discovery to the local veterinary services and cannot move their colonies. Furthermore, a protection area (20 km radius) and surveillance (100 km radius) zone were established. The surveillance zone includes the whole territory of Calabria region, and of Sicily region, following SHB detection in a single municipality in November 2014. Compulsory visits to all apiaries in the protection zone with georeferentiation and visual colony inspection according to 5% expected prevalence (95% CI) are applied. Destruction of infested apiaries is compulsory and the soil under the infested colonies must be ploughed and treated with pyrethroids. If apiaries in the protection zone are found to be negative, traps are placed. In the surveillance zone, apiaries are selected according to a risk analysis or randomly and colonies are inspected according to 2% expected prevalence (95% CI). No movement of colonies was allowed within the protection zone. In the surveillance zone, the movement of colonies was allowed only following two negative controls 21 days apart. No movements were allowed between protection and surveillance zone. Restriction measures to movements of at risk commodities have been adopted by EU Commission. Compensation for stamping out has been defined according to the law in force. SHB surveillance program is in progress at national level.


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