of larvae may be found crawling on and in the combs where they especially
pierce the cappings and side walls of rather fresh combs. By contrast, older
combs with several layers of cocoons seem to withstand penetration better.
Larvae can also be found underneath sealed honey combs (Neumann and Hoffmann,
2008) and on the bottom boards provided that sufficient food can be found in
the debris (e.g. dead adult bees, Spiewok and Neumann, 2006b). Fully grown,
so-called wandering larvae (Fig. 5; Lundie, 1940) may also be found on the
ground surrounding the infested colony, where they search for suitable earth to
pupate, e.g. underneath hives. Larvae can also be spotted in apicultural
facilities (e.g. honey houses) given low sanitary standards or unsuitable
storage conditions for (honey) combs or other material. Please note that SHB
wandering larvae can crawl considerable distances to find suitable soil
(>200 m, Stedman, 2006). SHB larvae have rarely been reported outside of
hives, apiaries and other apicultural facilities (e.g. occasionally in fruit
buckets, Buchholz et al., 2008).
Fig. 5. Small hive beetle wandering larvae underneath hives. Photo: Peter Neumann.