Quarantine Area established in Essex County and part of Chatham-Kent for small
hive beetle affecting honey bees
The Ontario government is responding
to the confirmed presence of small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) in Ontario.
The small hive beetle is a new and emerging pest to honey bees in this province.
The small hive beetle (or SHB) is not a threat to human health or food safety.
date, small hive beetle has been found in Essex County. The Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs is establishing a Quarantine Area under the Bees Act to
protect those parts of the province that are believed to be free from the presence
of the small hive beetle.
- the entire County
of Essex; and
- the part of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent lying south-westward
of a line made up of a Town Line Road, Pump Road and Merlin Road (also known as
County Road 7), as if these roadways extended continuously from points of intersection
with the shorelines of Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie (see
Note: Please refer to the Declaration
for the complete list of requirements.
Why is the Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs establishing a Quarantine Area in southwestern
The Quarantine Area has been established to protect those parts
of the Province that are believed to be free from the presence of the small hive
beetle (Aethina tumida), a new and emerging pest to honey bees that has
recently been found in Ontario.
Currently, the small hive beetle has a
localized distribution in Ontario. The Quarantine Area will contribute to preventing
the spread of small hive beetle to other areas of Ontario.
What is a
The Quarantine Area is an established zone that places
restrictions on the movement of bees or beekeeping equipment.
In this case,
the bee is the common or European honey bee (Apis mellifera).
within the Quarantine Area are also required to participate in a surveillance
program and to apply treatment if directed by the Provincial Apiarist. They must
also follow biosecurity measures and report any cases of suspected findings.
the difference between a Quarantine Area and a quarantine? What happens to the
honey bee colonies and equipment that are currently under quarantine within the
A quarantine is a specific order applied to
a particular premises, animals or things by an inspector to prevent further spread
or detect a hazard or concern. Quarantines remain in place until they are specifically
removed by an inspector.
A quarantine area is an area specified by
the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario in which additional efforts are made by industry
and government to prevent further spread or detect the hazard of concern (in this
case small hive beetle).
Both the individual quarantine orders and the declaration
of quarantine area include specific conditions such as what it applies to, the
boundaries, why it is being issued, and actions required, permitted or prohibited.
establishment of the Quarantine Area does not release the quarantines that were
imposed on a number of bee yards in the County of Essex since early September.
How long will this Quarantine Area be in place?
At this time
it is too early to say how long the Quarantine Area will be in place. The order
that establishes the Quarantine Area may be adjusted appropriately as new information
What do beekeepers in the Quarantine Area need to
All beekeepers and owners or custodians of premises in the Quarantine
Area who have honey bee yards, colonies or facilities where honey bees are produced
or located or where honey is extracted are required to adhere to requirements
of the declaration. All those affected should read the Declaration that establishes
the Quarantine Area and be aware of its requirements.
In brief, all beekeepers
in the Quarantine Area are required to take the following actions:
treatment and reporting
- Participate in a program for
the monitoring and surveillance of small hive beetle, as directed by the Provincial
- Apply treatment when small hive beetle is detected
in their hives, as directed by the Provincial Apiarist
to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs any cases of suspected
findings of small hive beetle within 24 hours of detection
of hives, bees and equipment
- Refrain from moving any honey bee
colonies or related beekeeping equipment within the Quarantine Area from any operation
suspected or confirmed to be infested without the prior approval of the Provincial
- Refrain from moving any hives, equipment, utensils, bee products
or by-products, bees or any other biological material or equipment out of the
Quarantine Area without the written approval of the Provincial Apiarist. (The
only materials that may move out of the Quarantine Area are honey, mead or royal
jelly that is in sealed containers, and heat rendered wax or propolis that is
solid and free of debris and in sealed containers.)
- Examine all colonies,
apiaries and equipment for the presence of small hive beetle within 24 hours prior
to movement between premises within the Quarantine Area;
- Create and maintain
complete written records of sales, purchases and the approved movement of any
honey bee colonies or beekeeping equipment including:
- names, contact
numbers and business locations of persons concerned
- description and number
of colonies and equipment involved
- dates of transactions.
- When visiting any apiary:
- Inspect clothing, protective
beekeeping clothing and veils upon leaving an apiary
- Cleanse all footwear
before wearing it at another apiary site
- Disinfect all utensils used in
the keeping of bees before using them at another site
- When the presence
of small hive beetle is suspected or confirmed by an inspector at a site:
- Visit non-infested sites before visiting infested sites
- Isolate, mark
and restrict access to honey bee apiaries, colonies or related beekeeping equipment.
Best practices include:
- restrict contact of non-infested colonies
with the apiary or colonies known to be infested;
- isolate a yard or colony
by actively restricting the movement of other colonies in the immediate area of
this know infestation; and
- indicate on the hive, with a waterproof sign,
label or other type of marking when small hive beetle is present in a colony and
has not already been identified by an inspector.
refers to fomites. What is a fomite and what are the best management practices
A fomite is an inanimate object that is capable of carrying
or transmitting a disease or a biological, chemical, physical or radiological
agent or factor that is a hazard. Fomites include:
- Any clothing,
footwear or equipment that may contain a disease or a biological, chemical, physical
or radiological agent or factor that is a hazard or if it may come into contact
with a hazard, or an animal that a hazard is affecting, or in which a hazard may
Depending on the type of fomite, there are a number of
products and techniques that can be used to cleanse it. As biosecurity measures,
honey bee beekeepers should follow some or all of these steps to clean a fomite
and reduce the possibility of transmitting small hive beetle:
inspection of a fomite for the presence of small hive beetle
brushing or scouring the surface of a fomite so that all infective material or
material that may attract a small hive beetle is removed
- Washing the fomite
with a cleaning product (assuming that the product is safe when used in direct
contact with a fomite that may come in direct contact with a food product)
any of the above has been done, freezing the fomite at -12°C for a minimum
of 12 hours
If I don't have small hive beetle in my colonies, can
I move them into, within, through or out of the Quarantine Area?
no restriction on moving honey bee colonies or bee equipment into the Quarantine
There are restrictions on moving honey bee colonies or bee equipment
within the Quarantine Area to help keep the small hive beetle infestations in
the western part of the Quarantine Area. Everyone moving honey bee colonies and
bee equipment into the Quarantine Area must be aware that this material must stay
where it is in the Quarantine Area, until permission is granted to move them.
Beekeepers must have written permission from the Provincial Apiarist to
move any honey bee colonies or bee equipment from any premises suspected or confirmed
to be infested with SHB within the Quarantine Area. Bee colonies and equipment
may be required to stay where they are in the Quarantine Area indefinitely.
are also restrictions on moving honey bee colonies or bee equipment out of the
Quarantine Area. Beekeepers must have written permission from the Provincial Apiarist
to move any honey bee colonies or bee equipment outside of the Quarantine Area.
Permission may be given only under circumstances where every risk of spreading
small hive beetle outside of the Quarantine Area has been mitigated.
there are restrictions on moving honey bee colonies or bee equipment through the
Quarantine Area without the prior written approval by the Provincial Apiarist.
do I obtain written approval from the Provincial Apiarist?
from the Provincial Apiarist may be granted through the Office of the Provincial
Apiarist only after a thorough assessment of the potential risk of spreading small
hive beetle by moving honey bee colonies or bee equipment.
To contact the
office of the Provincial Apiarist, please phone 1-877-424-1300 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
can report small hive beetle? Who has the authority to confirm the presence of
small hive beetle?
Anyone may report the presence of SHB to OMAFRA where
they have reason to suspect that there is positive case of SHB. This may include
any life stage of the beetle or any damage to a honey bee colony or honey bee
equipment that is specific to SHB (refer to the Small Hive Beetle Infosheet for
pictures of the larval and adult stages of small hive beetle).
inspector appointed under the Bees Act or the Provincial Apiarist has the authority
to confirm SHB in a honey bee colony, site or region.
What's the protocol
for the monitoring and surveillance of small hive beetle?
The protocol for
the monitoring and surveillance of SHB will involve inspection of honey bee colonies,
apiary and other sites for any life stage or symptom of SHB by Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs staff. The Ministry reserves the right
to alter or expand the protocol.
Is the declaration of Quarantine Area legally
binding for beekeepers in the Quarantine Area? Is there a penalty for a beekeeper
who doesn't comply with any part of the declaration?
Yes, all beekeepers or
anyone with beekeeping equipment must follow the requirements of the Declaration
Compliance is important to prevent the spread of small hive
beetle to other areas and protect Ontario's beekeeping industry.
who contravenes any provision of the Bees Act, including a Declaration of Quarantine
made under it, may be charged with an offence.
To report new findings of
small hive beetle or if you have questions please contact the Agricultural Information
Contact Centre at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-424-1300.
hive beetle advisory
hive beetle infosheet
hive beetle treatment recommendations infosheet