The hive beetle, or Aethina tumida by its scientific name, is a dangerous insect for hives because it feeds on the brood (eggs and larvae of bees), honey and bee bread and destroys the frames of hives, indicates the Ministry of Agriculture on its site.

“The introduction into France of this first-category health hazard would have serious health and economic consequences for the beekeeping industry”, specifies the ministry.

The hive beetle was discovered in Europe in 2014 in southern Italy and in July 2022 an outbreak was spotted in Reunion.

The appearance of this small brown insect or its larvae in a hive must be reported to the Departmental Directorate in charge of population protection or to a veterinarian.

Sulfur dioxide, from the sulfite family, has been banned since 2007 as an insecticide. It is considered a polluting product and can cause irritation of the mucous membranes, the skin and the respiratory tract.

However, it has already been authorized temporarily in 2013 against Asian hornets.

The decree specifies that a “safety zone of 50 meters around the treatment area” must be established before using it and access to this zone must be limited “to persons whose mission requires it”.

People in the vicinity must be warned and “the windows and doors of premises located less than 50 m from the treatment area must remain closed until the end of the operation”.