Small Hive Beetle Management Strategy

Small Hive Beetle (SHB) was reported in the Niagara Region of Ontario in May 2015 in a single, small, non-commercial operation. Following this event, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) initiated an enhanced SHB surveillance program. Since the initial finding, a total of 25 SHB-positive apiaries have been identified in the Niagara Region and detention orders have been issued to all positive apiaries. SHB has been found in both commercial and small-scale operations.

As the status and presence of SHB is evolving in Ontario, the province is transitioning from eradication to a management strategy. Effective management of SHB is important to minimizing the spread of this new pest. For more information, please review the SHB materials found online at or call 1-877-424-1300.

With input from the beekeeping industry, Ontario has developed a Small Hive Beetle Management Strategy for 2016 with the following objectives:

  1. Minimize the impact of SHB to beekeepers
  2. Mitigate the spread of SHB in Ontario
  3. Minimize disruption of economic activity for beekeepers and growers who require pollination services

OMAFRA's SHB Management Strategy for 2016 is built on five pillars:

Bees Act Compliance:

  • Beekeepers are required to register each apiary, yard or location where bees are kept, excluding temporary pollination yards.
  • Beekeepers are obligated to report the presence of pests or diseases, including SHB, to OMAFRA.
  • No person shall receive or transport any pest within Ontario.
  • OMAFRA is recommending that beekeepers declare their SHB status to the Ontario Beekeepers Association and to fellow known beekeepers in their immediate vicinity.

Movement Plan and Best Management Practices (BMP):

[Only applicable to beekeepers with SHB-positive apiaries subject to a detention order(s)]

  • OMAFRA may allow movement of colonies from a SHB-positive yard depending upon the risk(s). Beekeepers are being asked to provide to OMAFRA,
    • the movement plan for the colonies (that focuses on strategic movement of colonies and risk mitigation), and
    • the operation's best management practices that documents strategies implemented to mitigate the impact and reduce the spread of SHB.
  • OMAFRA will contact beekeepers and advise them on next steps. Next steps may include a revised movement plan and/or BMP revisions, bee yard inspections or may allow the movement of colonies in accordance with BMP and biosecurity practices.

Traceability & Biosecurity:

  • OMAFRA is recommending that beekeepers carefully track and record the movement of colonies among bee yards.
  • OMAFRA is further recommending that beekeepers implement appropriate biosecurity protocols based upon risk.


  • Inspection of SHB-positive yards by OMAFRA prior to movement to a non SHB-positive site (e.g. domestic pollination) may occur.
  • Inspections may be random or scheduled based on elevated risk.

Regulatory Response:

  • OMAFRA may take regulatory action under the Bees Act or Animal Health Act, 2009 at any time for the detainment, treatment or destruction of non-compliant or high-risk colonies.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: Wael Haddad - Apiary Data Coordinator/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 22 March 2016
Last Reviewed: 7 June 2016