Beetle trap helps protect honeybees

By Diane Palmer

honeybee hiveA one-way death trap invented at Clemson is helping protect honeybees from small hive beetles that threaten bee colonies. The invasive pest from Africa damages honeycombs, stored honey and pollen, causing bee colonies to collapse.

Honeybees pollinate most of the state’s fruit and vegetable crops. Without them, there would be no apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, or cucumber. There are two pesticides that are available to control small hive beetles, but alternative methods to control this pest are needed.

Clemson entomologist Mike Hood developed the Hood Beetle Trap that allows beetles to enter but not escape. The plastic box has three separate compartments and uses cider vinegar to attract the beetles and food grade mineral oil to foil their escape.

Research grants from the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the Almond Board of California helped fund this research. Clemson graduate student Brett Nolan is assisting with field tests. The trap is distributed by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Inc., in North Carolina:

For information: Mike Hood, 864-656-0348,