Adult beetles on comb, and on exterior of hive
This beetle is not considered a serious pest in South Africa. Some Florida beekeepers however, experiencing heavy infestations, have blamed it for the quick collapse of strong colonies. According to a study by Dr. A. E. Lundie (Union of South Africa, Science Bulletin 220, 1940, 30 pp.) the beetle also defecates in the honey and in some way alters the honey causing it to ferment and run out of the combs. Most vulnerable are weak hives with stored honey or full honey supers either in storage or above bee escapes. As of the fall of 1998, the beetle appears to be restricted to colonies in areas along the south-east coast of the US. This is probably due to the sandy soil conditions in these areas which allow the beetle to pupate successfully.