Small Hive Beetle

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

The Small Hive Beetle is an invasive pest that harms honeybee hives and damages the honeycomb, stored honey and pollen. The bees may abandon the hive if the infestation becomes heavy. 

The small hive beetle (SHB) causes damage to hives that are stressed or weakened by other factors. In a healthy hive, the worker bees will protect the hive from SHB. Once the worker bees are outnumbered by the beetles, the hive can be destroyed quickly.


When bee populations are sufficient and the SHB populations are small, the hive will be fine. In fact hive beetles are normally in every hive.  However when the population of bees is insufficient or the hive is unhealthy SHB can cause havoc. Both the larval and adult stages of the SHB prey on honey bee eggs and brood.