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Mass infestation of black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) on colonies of the Indo-Malayan stingless bees Geniotrigona thoracica and Heterotrigona itama

Research Paper | August 1, 2017

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Nur Aida Hashim, A. R. Shamsul Bahri, Norasmah Basari, Nur Hafizah Sharudin

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.11( 2), 9-15, August 2017


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Meliponiculture, a stingless bees beekeeping has become an important industry in Malaysia. Reports on mass infestation of pests on colonies of domesticated stingless bees (Geniotrigona thoracica and Heterotrigona itama) were received in mid-June 2016 from the beekeepers in northern peninsular Malaysia. The infestation destroyed thousands of stingless bee colonies within one week of attack, resulting in huge losses to the bee industry. This research was conducted to determine the species of pest infested the bees colonies in the northern peninsular Malaysia. Samples of larvae from the infested colonies were collected manually using entomological forceps from a stingless bees farm in the state of Kedah and the larvae were reared in the laboratory until adult stage. Identification of the larvae and adult pest confirmed that the invading species were the black soldier fly (BSF) (Hermetia illucens) that had not hitherto been regarded as a pest, but as a beneficial insect. The four major signs of attack by this pest on the stingless bee colonies are: 1) the nest entrance became smaller, 2) Honey in the honey pots developed bubbles 3) The presence of white larvae in the nest topping, and 4) honey spilled from the honey pots and flowed out from the nest topping. This is the first report on mass infestation of domesticated stingless bee colonies by the BSF. Therefore it is important to monitorthe spread and the potential threat poses by BSF on the stingless bee for sustainability of stingless bees itself and meliponiculture in Malaysia.


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Mass infestation of black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) on colonies of the Indo-Malayan stingless bees Geniotrigona thoracica and Heterotrigona itama

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