The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, a new pest of honey bees, was discovered damaging honey bee colonies in Florida in spring of 1998. It is native to South Africa. When and how it arrived in North America are unknown; however, the earliest known collection was made in 1996 in Charleston, SC. By 1999 it was established in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina. In 2000, it was discovered in Alabama, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, South Dakota and Mississippi. In Tennessee, the beetle was found in Polk County in 2000 and in Hamilton, Sequatchie and Dyer counties in 2001. Eradication efforts by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture in these counties may have delayed the pest’s establishment and spread.
"SP594-Small Hive Beetle - A New Pest of Honey Bees," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP594-2.5M-1/02 E12-4615-00-016-02, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexdise/4