The small hive beetle Aethina tumida is native to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is not generally considered a pest. Its arrival in 1996 in the south east of the United States was unexpected, as was the devastating effect it had on colonies. It has since spread to Australia, Canada, and Mexico. An isolated incursion in Portugal, Europe in 2004 was successfully eradicated.
The discovery of the beetle in south west Italy in September 2014, and subsequent continuing control efforts have brought new attention to the beetle by beekeepers, scientists and governments.
The Small hive beetle intended for beekeepers derives from a conference organised by the COLOSS association and held at CRA-API, Bologna, Italy. In its seven chapters the world's experts on the small hive beetle discuss its biology and spread, and suggest practical ways of living with the pest.