This investigation was conducted to test whether an upper hive entrance may result in reduced Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) population buildup in newly established honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies over an 8-mo period. The upper hive entrance consisted of a 3.5-cm-i.d. polyvinyl chloride pipe positioned 20 cm above the hive bottom. Sixteen bee colonies were established using five-frame nucleus hives with a 0.9-kg (2–1b) package of bees with queen. Eight colonies were placed in each apiary, and each colony received one of two treatments: 1) conventional hive lower entrance and 2) modified upper hive entrance. This investigation was conducted in two distant apiaries where A. tumida had been a major problem to local beekeepers for a minimum of 2 yr. Results showed no overall differences between treatment effects on A. tumida counts over the test period, but there was a reduction in bee brood measured in colonies having an upper hive entrance. We conclude that the upper pipe entrance is not recommended in areas where A. tumida are well established and have become problematic. The expected reduction of brood in colonies as a result of using an upper hive entrance will lead to less productive units for honey production and pollination activities. Other control measures will be necessary to maintain tolerable levels of A. tumida in honey bee colonies at high pest densities.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6