FREDERICTON (GNB) – For the first time, the small hive beetle has been found in New Brunswick honeybee colonies.

“The department is reaching out to all New Brunswick beekeepers to inform them of the small hive beetle presence in the province,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “Our staff is working with the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association through a monitoring program and is taking measures aimed at preventing the beetle from becoming established in our province.”

Last month, the beetle was found in colonies that were imported from one Ontario beekeeper to pollinate wild blueberries in the Acadian Peninsula. The department has quarantined 12 New Brunswick beekeepers’ colonies that were in close proximity to the infested Ontario colonies.

This week, two beetles were confirmed in colonies from two different beekeepers in Rivière-du-Portage and Aulac. As a result, the quarantine may be extended to other beekeepers within a three-kilometre radius.

The small hive beetle is an emerging and invasive pest of the honeybee. It is generally considered a pest of weak bee colonies. Large populations of the beetle can impact honeybee health, spoil honey and damage beekeeping equipment.

All suspected small hive beetle specimens should be immediately reported to the provincial apiarist.

More information on this beetle is available online.