Small Hive Beetle (SHB) - Report all findings and prevent the spread

Please contact for the report in PDF format.

  1. Adult SHB have a compact, oval shaped body. It is reddish brown to black in colour and 5.7 x 3.2 mm in size
    • Shortened wing coverings do not extend the full length of the abdomen
    • Clubbed antennae

Adult small hive beetle

Photo: Adult small hive beetle (Photo by Paul Kozak)

  1. SHB Larvae are typically found clustered together in cells of the honey comb, often immersed in a film of fermented honey. Larvae are white to beige in colour with a brown hardened head and are up to 1 cm in length.
    • Three sets of legs behind the head
    • Rows of brown spines along length
    • Forked structure at the end

Small hive beetle larvae

Photo: Small hive beetle larvae (Photo by Paul Kozak)

  1. SHB Eggs are 2/3 the size of honey bee eggs, pearly white and laid in clusters in cracks and crevices.

Small hive beetle eggs

Photo: Small hive beetle eggs (Photo by University of Florida)

May be Confused with the Following SHB Look-a-Likes

  • Wax Moth Larva (top) and SHB Larva
  • Note the additional legs on the wax moth and the spines on SHB. Although there is some size overlap between both species, the Wax Moth larva will grow twice as long (2 cm) as SHB.

    Wax Moth Larva (top) and SHB Larva

    Photo: Wax Moth Larva (top) and SHB Larva (Photo by Bart Smith)

  • Fly Larvae (Established, pest)

Photo of fly larvae

(Photo by Paul Kozak)

  • Sap Beetle Established, non-pest

Photo of sap beetles

(Photo by Steve Marshall)

  • Carpet Beetle Established, non-pest

Photo of a carpet beetle

(Photo by Steve Marshall)

Report Findings of SHB Immediately

Contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre:


For More Information and SHB Images Visit :

Ontario Beekeepers' Association

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: Paul Kozak, Provincial Apiarist/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 7 September 2012
Last Reviewed: 23 October 2015