2.2.2. Larvae

All stages 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.

12106VD revised Fig5