Genome of the small hive beetle sequenced


BEEKEEPERS and researchers will welcome the unveiling of the small hive beetle’s genome by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.

The small hive beetle (SHB) is a major parasite problem of honey bees for which there are few effective treatments.

The SHB (Aethina tumida Murray) genome — a genome is the sum total of all an organism’s DNA; a gene codes for a single protein to be built — is available at and was recently published in GigaScience.

This information will provide crucial keys that should lead to better, more targeted SHB control methods, including insecticidal treatments and possibly even genetic/breeding solutions. The SHB has a strong gene-guided system
that lets the beetle detoxify many insecticides.

Having the genome will allow researchers to gain a more precise  understanding of these detoxification genes, so more effective choices for control treatments can be made.