Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee Producer Guide to the National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard
Appendix F: Flow Charts of Alfalfa Leafcutting Beekeeping and Risks

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Figure 1 : Overwintering
Flowchart - Overwintering. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 1

Figure 1 is a flow process diagram that illustrates overwintering processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

  1. The first box is labelled Remove nests from shelters via trucks. A single arrow leads to a box labelled Place nests in temperature-controlled storage facility.
  2. From Place nests in a temperature controlled storage facility a single arrow leads to a box labelled Store nests at 20 C for 2 weeks (Dichlorvos may be used for parasites), then reduce temperature to 4°C – 10°C. From here a single arrow leads to a box labelled Once bee cells have dried sufficiently, remove nests from storage for processing (separate room).
  3. From Once bee cells have dried sufficiently, remove nests from storage for processing (separate room) a single arrow leads to a box labelled Be aware that some types of nests are taken apart during the use of stripping machine. From here two arrows lead to three boxes labelled
    • Use stripping machine to remove bee cells nests. From here an arrow leads to Separate bee cells into individual cells by processing in a tumbler or cell separator and Know that some type of nests are reassembled after processing of bee cells. Another arrow leads to a box labelled Clean bee cell processing equipment (stripper, tumbler) and facility frequently.
    • Separate bee cells into individual cells by processing in a tumbler or cell separator. From here single arrows lead to and from boxes labelled:
      • Create bee cell lots, take samples, test samples
      • Place individual bee cells in containers
      • Place bee cell containers in storage facility
      • Process bee cells to kill chalkbrood
    • Know that some types of nests are reassembled after processing of bee cells. From here a single arrow leads to a box labelled Process nests to kill chalkbrood
    • The final box is stand alone and labelled Thoroughly clean the storage facility after bee cells have been removed in the spring

Figure 1: Overwintering

Figure 1 follows the operational process of overwintering. Remove nests from shelters via trucks. Place the nests in a temperature controlled storage facility. Store the nests at 2°C for two weeks (Dichlorvos may be used for parasites) then reduce temperature to 4°C – 10°C. Once the bee cells have dried sufficiently, remove nests from storage for processing in a separate room. Use a stripping machine to remove the bee cells from the nests. Separate the bee cells into individual cells by processing in a tumbler or cell separator. Create bee cell lots and take and test samples. Place the individual bee cells in containers and place in a storage facility at 5°C – 10C. Process the bee cells to kill chalkbrood. Clean bee cell processing equipment and the facility frequently. Thoroughly clean the storage facility after bee cells have been removed in the spring.

Figure 2 : Incubate Prepupal to Adult
Flowchart - Incubate Prepupal to Adult. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 2

Figure 2 is a flow process diagram that illustrates incubation processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

There are eight boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:

  1. Transfer bee cells to shallow depth trays
  2. Place trays in an incubator at 30 C and 50%-70% humidity
  3. Place Dichlorvos strips in the incubator (day 7 to day 14) (first generation Pteromalus control)
  4. Place black lights over water boxes on incubator floor to attract and drown Pteromalus
  5. Remove Dichlorvos strips at day 14
  6. Within the next 24 to 28 hours, aerate incubators to remove Dichlorvos
  7. Leave bee cells and bees in the incubator for 24 days or until bees are 75% hatched
  8. See FIELD ACTIVITIES – step 4

There is a final stand-alone box labelled Incubation period varies (origin of bees, anticipated crop placement)

Figure 2: Incubate Prepupal to Adult

Figure 2 follows the operational process of incubating prepupal bees to adults. Transfer the bee cells to shallow depth trays. Place the trays in an incubator at 30C and 50%-70% humidity. Place Dichlorvos strips in the incubator (day 7 to day 14) for first generation Pteromalus control. Place black lights over water boxes on the incubator floor to attract and drown Pteromalus. Remove the Dichlorvos strips at day 14. Within the next 24 – 28 hours, aerate incubators to remove Dichlorvos from the air. Leave the bee cells and bees in the incubator for 24 days or until the bees are 75% hatched. Refer to the Field Activities section step 4. The incubation period varies depending on the origin of the bees and anticipated crop placement.

Figure 3: Field Activities
Flowchart - Field Activities. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 3

Figure 3 is a flow process diagram that illustrates field processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

There are seven boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:

  1. Set up a shelter area (if required) – possible measures for control of chalkbrood, rodents – and to remove plants and weeds
  2. Place nests in the shelters
  3. Ensure the field timing of the bee placement will not interfere with field insecticide operations
  4. Remove bee trays from incubators, and transport to shelters in field
  5. After approximately one week, remove and dispose of emerged bee cells from shelters
  6. Monitor bees for parasites and other pests and diseases, and for bee survival
  7. Remove for overwintering those nests from the field that are 75% filled

Figure 3: Field Activities

If required, set up a shelter area. This is a possible measure for the control of chalkbrood and helps remove plants and weeds. Place nests in the shelters. Ensure the field timing of bee placement will not interfere with field insecticide operations. Remove the bee trays from the incubators, and transport to field shelters. After approximately one week, remove and dispose of emerged bee cells from shelters. Monitor bees for parasites, pests, disease and survival. Remove for overwintering those nests from the field that are 75% filled.

Figure 4: Shipping bees
Flowchart - Shipping bees cells. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 4

Figure 4 is a flow process diagram that illustrates bee shipping processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

There are two columns of boxes labelled If shipping bee cells and If shipping live bees.

  1. The column labelled If shipping bee cells has five boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:
    1. Test bee cells for chalkbrood, parasites, live count, and sex before shipping
    2. Place bee cells in shipping containers
    3. Obtain export documentation (phytosanitary certificate, declaration of origin), if shipping to the U.S.
    4. Prepare for vet inspection at border
    5. Bees are shipped
  2. The column labelled If shipping live bees has four boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:
    1. Place hatched bees in temperature controlled trucks for transport
    2. Inspect bees for Pteromalus
    3. Obtain export documentation if shipping to the U.S.
    4. Bees are shipped

Figure 4: Shipping bees

If shipping bee cells:

Before shipping, test the bee cells for chalkbrood, parasites, live count and sex. Place bee cells in shipping containers. Obtain export documentation (phytosanitary certificate, declaration of origin), if shipping to the U.S. Prepare for a veterinarian inspection at the border. Ship the bees.

If shipping live bees:

Place hatched bees in temperature-controlled trucks for transport. Inspect the bees for Pteromalus. Obtain export documentation if shipping to the U.S. Ship the bees.

Figure 5: Receiving Bees
Flowchart - Receiving bees. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 5

Figure 5 is a flow process diagram that illustrates receiving processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

There are four boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:

  1. Order bee cells from a known and reliable source
  2. Receive, and visually inspect bee cells
  3. Review the test results supplied by suppliers
  4. Move bee cells into temperature controlled storage room

Figure 5: Receiving Bees

Figure 5 follows the operational process for receiving bees. Order bee cells from a known and reliable source. Receive and visually inspect bee cells. Review the test results supplied by the suppliers. Move bee cells into a temperature-controlled storage room.

Figure 6: Receiving Supplies
Flowchart - Receiving supplies. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 6

Figure 6 follows the operational process for receiving supplies. Inspect the nests on receiving. Treat used nests, trays and other used material for chalkbrood.

Figure 6 is a flow process diagram that illustrates receiving processes with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

There are two boxes connected by single arrows leading from one to the next in the following order:

  1. Inspect nests on receiving
  2. Treat used nests, trays, and other used material for chalkbrood

Figure 6: Receiving Supplies

Figure 6 follows the operational process for receiving supplies. Inspect the nests on receiving. Treat used nests, trays and other used material for chalkbrood.

Figure 7: Facilities
Flowchart - Facilities. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 7

Figure 7 contains four stand-alone boxes labelled

  • Locate bee cell processing in a separate room from bee cell storage room
  • Provide adequate dust collection systems for processing facilities
  • Clean facilities frequently to remove dust
  • Provide adequate rodent control in buildings

Figure 7: Facilities

Figure 7 lists considerations for facilities. Locate bee cell processing in a separate room from bee cell storage room. Provide adequate dust-collection systems for processing facilities. Clean facilities frequently to remove dust. Provide adequate rodent control in buildings.

Figure 8: Recording
Flowchart - Recording. Description follows.
Description for flowchart - Figure 8

Figure 8 contains nine stand-alone boxes labelled:

  • Record bee purchases (supplier, date, number)
  • Record purchases of nests, trays, and other materials
  • Record bee cells, and bee sales and shipments
  • Record field locations
  • Record nests that are removed from field
  • Record bee and equipment treatments
  • Record processing of bee cells
  • Record traying and incubation details
  • Record bee placements in field and shelters

Figure 8: Recording

Figure 8 lists several items that your operation should record. These include: bee purchases (supplier, date, number), purchases of nests, trays and other materials, bee cells, bee sales and shipments, field locations, bee placements in field and shelters, nests that are removed from fields, bee and equipment treatments, processing of bee cells, traying and incubation details.

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