The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is a parasite of honeybee hives (Apis mellifera) and native to South Africa. Invasive in North America since 1996, the species has spread to hives throughout the continent, including many in Rhode Island and nearby states. To better understand migration patterns for this invasive species, we haplotyped small hive beetles (SHB) based on mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase Part 1 (COI) gene sequences. To analyze spatial and temporal haplotype distribution, we mapped haplotype data along with previously analyzed population numbers using ArcGIS. All identified beetles fell into one of two previously described haplotypes, either NA1 or NA2. NA1 and NA2 haplotypes showed similar frequencies based on total SHB numbers. However, NA2 was overrepresented during early and middle time points of the summer while NA1 levels rose dramatically during late summer. Additionally, identified beetles were predominantly from suburban hives, for which NA1 and NA2 frequencies were similar. Continued monitoring of SHB genetic structure will help to elucidate small scale patterns of migration.
St. George, Katelyn, "Haplotyping Small Hive Beetle (Aethina Tumida) Reveals NA1 and NA2 Distribution in Rhode Island Apis Mellifera Hives" (2017). Honors Projects Overview. 135.
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