On 5 September 2014, staff from the Agricultural University of Reggio Calabria discovered a beetle in a bait hive in the vicinity of the port of Gioia Tauro. The hive had been placed there because it was considered a possible site for introduction of the small hive beetle; upon discovery,the hive was treated by fumigation and freezing.

Confirmation of small hive beetle in Italy

On 11 September 2014, the Italian National Reference Centre for beekeeping confirmed the presence of small hive beetle (SHB) for the first time in Italy, in the port city of Gioia Tauro, in samples which were taken from a bait trap belonging to the University of Reggio Calabria.

Since its discovery, urgent measures are underway to measure the extent of the outbreak, complete tracings (sales and movements of bees from the area) and eradicate and control its spread in line with EU legislation and safeguards. Measures include the destruction of all colonies where the beetle is found and treatment of soil surrounding the land.

Since 2011, there has been a substantial level of imports of package bees and queens from Italy into the UK. Presently the NBU is arranging for further inspection of colonies belonging to these beekeepers, but in the meantime all beekeepers are reminded to remain vigilant when checking their colonies and to report any suspicious sightings. Beekeepers who have received bees from GB, which originated in Italy, are asked to contact a DAERA Bee Inspector to arrange an inspection. 

More information about this exotic pest and action to take:

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