Notice Of Quarantine Area For Bees

Preventing The Spread Of Small Hive Beetle In Essex County And Chatham-Kent

March 7, 2011

A quarantine area has been established for bees in Essex County and part of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent to prevent the spread of small hive beetle to other areas of the province and to protect the integrity of Ontario's beekeeping industry.

On March 7, 2011, the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario issued a declaration under the Bees Act establishing the quarantine area and outlining responsibilities for all beekeepers or persons with beekeeping equipment within the quarantine area. As a result of the declaration, these persons must:

  • not move their bee colonies or equipment within or out of the quarantine area without the prior written approval of the Provincial Apiarist
  • report any previously unreported findings of small hive beetle to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
  • participate in surveillance and treatment as directed by the Provincial Apiarist
  • follow specific biosecurity measures listed in the declaration (e.g., cleansing of footwear and disinfection of utensils)

In September 2010, small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, was confirmed in Essex County beekeeping operations and OMAFRA responded immediately with quarantines on individual yards where small hive beetle was observed. OMAFRA continues to work with the beekeeping industry and other stakeholders to manage this new pest of honey bee colonies..

Establishing a quarantine area at this time, prior to the start of the beekeeping season provides the best opportunity to control movement of bees and prevent the inadvertent spread of small hive beetle from any yard where it might be present but not yet detected.

Background

  • Small hive beetle does not affect food safety or human health.
  • Small hive beetle is an emerging and invasive pest of the European honey bee that has established in most regions of the United States. There have been confirmed findings in southern Quebec and western Canada. However, to date, it is not known whether small hive beetle has established a resident population anywhere in Ontario beyond the quarantine area.
  • Small hive beetle is a significant risk to honey bee colony health and can damage beekeeping equipment and spoil honey. It can be spread through the movement of honey bee colonies and equipment, and beekeeper activities.
  • In the fall of 2010, quarantines were placed on 16 beekeeping yards and one processing facility in Essex County under the Animal Health Act, 2009. In January 2011, small hive beetle was added under the regulations of the Ontario Bees Act as a named pest. The establishment of a quarantine area under the Bees Act complements these measures to further control the risk of spread to other areas of the province.
  • The specific boundaries of the quarantine are all of Essex County 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 map).

Susan Murray, Communications, 519-826-3145

 


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Food Inspection Branch OMAFRA
Creation Date: 07 March 2011
Last Reviewed: 07 March 2011