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The Beetle that can damage sweet Honey Profits

The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida is a beekeeping pest that causes damage to comb, honey, and pollen. A beetle infestation can cause even the most humble bumble bees to abandon their hive. Beetle larvae can also tunnel through combs of honey, feeding and defecating, causing discoloration and fermentation of the honey. The risk is significant and can disrupt honey bee operations. Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports on a training session to manage the beetle.

Paul Mahung Toledo Correspondent: “Bee keepers of southern Belize yesterday participated in training sessions focusing on control of the small hive beetle. At the event Love News met with one of the facilitators from the Ministry of Agriculture an extension officer and National Coordinator for the Honey Industry Mario Howe. Howe said he was pleased to have the assistance of experienced Orange Walk Bee keeper and consultant Margarita Liver who also facilitated in door and practical outdoor training sessions of methods focusing on integrated hive management for the control of the small hive beetle known for its damages to Bee keepers and honey bee hives.

Mario Howe National Coordinator, Honey Industry: “I am presently the National Coordinator for the Honey Bee Industry in the Ministry of Agriculture. Today we are in Toledo District trying to conduct a training program for honey producers and the topic is basically is small eye beetle management. The small eye beetle has been introduced in Belize since 2015 in northern Belize. Small eye beetle is a pest that would cause great destruction to our Honey Industry if it is not managed properly. In view of that the Ministry of Agriculture is presently conducting training programs throughout the country to make Bee keepers aware of how to deal with this pest. During the course of the last two weeks we have been in Corozal training beekeepers. We have done in Cayo last week and this week we are in PG.

Paul Mahung: “Training sessions held at Elridgeville Community Center had the participation of 30 honey producers from Toledo and Stann Creek District. The event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Ministry of Agriculture Cooperative Department and Ya’axche Conservation Trust. Reporting for Love News from Eldridge Ville I am Paul Mahung.”