Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee Producer Guide to the National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard
Appendix G: Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Biosecurity Checklist

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Section 1: Bee Health Management

1.1 Bee Sources

  • Box The Canadian Loose Bee Cell Management System is followed

When purchasing bees

  • Box purchase loose bee cells
  • Box avoid purchasing filled nest blocks and incubated or adult bees
  • Box purchase from trusted suppliers that can provide test results from the Canadain Cocoon Testing Centre ( CCTC )
  • Box establish lots, if suitable for your operation

Lots are based on

  • Box source
  • Box nest box type/year purchased
  • Box crop
  • Box client
  • Box percentage of nest block fill
  • Box processing date
  • Box treatments
  • Box incubation groups
  • Box lots are sampled following recommended practice in a repeatable and consistent manner
  • Box samples are tested either by a trained producer or the CCTC

1.2 Prevention: Minimizing Susceptibility to Pests

Storage and incubation facility control:

  • Box temperature
  • Box humidity
  • Box air circulation/ventilation
  • Box nest boxes are stored/stacked off the floor
  • Box loose bee cells are stored in containers that limit conditions that encourage the development of pests
  • Box nests and shelters are constructed and maintained in a state that limits access to pests
  • Box bees are located in areas that minimize the impact of irrigation where applicable

1.3 Prevention: Minimizing Exposure

Exposure to pests is minimized during storage and incubation:

  • Box preventative treatments and methods are used
  • Box temperature, humidity, and air circulation is monitored and maintained
  • Box light is limited
  • Box known infected/infested lots and cells are stored and incubated separately from healthy ones
  • Box emerged bee cells and trays are removed from shelters and disposed of in an acceptable way

Precautions are taken to minimize bee drifting and intermixing:

  • Box visual cues are used for shelters and nests
  • Box exposure to other bee species is avoided
  • Box recommended alfalfa leafcutting bee pollination stocking rates are followed
  • Box shelter distance to bees of other sources is maximized where possible
  • Box known or suspect bee lots are treated separately
  • Box bee release is timed to coincide with nectar and pollen flow
  • Box nest boxes are monitored for percent filled tunnels
  • Box full nests are removed and empty nests are added as required
  • Box bee cells are effectively dried, processed and conditioned

Minimize exposure to pests during transport:

  • Box cover or enclose trays
  • Box use screened trays

1.4 Diagnosis and Monitoring

Principles:

  • Box thorough sampling methods
  • Box involvement with inspection programs where applicable
  • Box establishing and acting on thresholds
  • Box monitoring
  • Box training
  • Box treatment efficacy
  • Box record keeping

1.5 Standard Response

  • Box treatment thresholds are followed
  • Box all treatment label directions are read and followed
  • Box recommended products are used
  • Box treatments are thorough and consistent
  • Box treatment is timed
  • Box cultural and biosecurity methods are incorporated

1.6 Elevated Response

  • Box communication with staff, provincial apiarists, associations, suppliers, clients, government and other growers
  • Box suspected and confirmed threat protocols are in place and are implemented if an elevated response is triggered (may include suspension of hive movement, restricted access, heightened monitoring and sampling)
  • Box personal, equipment, and visitor biosecurity protocols are followed
  • Box records are kept and maintained

Section 2: Operations Management

2.1 Obtaining Production Inputs

  • Box production inputs are purchased from recommended and trusted suppliers
  • Box production treatments are approved for use with alfalfa leafcutting bees and in good condition

2.2 Handling and Disposal of Production Inputs

  • Box chemical treatments are stored according to product labels
  • Box a first in/first out inventory system is used
  • Box label instructions are followed for disposal of excess or expired products

2.3 Obtaining Bee Equipment

Considerations for purchasing bee equipment:

  • Box new equipment is purchased
  • Box reliable and trusted suppliers are used
  • Box the purchase of bee cells in nest blocks is avoided
  • Box equipment is inspected

Considerations for purchasing used bee equipment:

  • Box used equipment is avoided
  • Box if necessary, used equipment with known disease history is purchased
  • Box used equipment is cleaned and disinfected in a segregated area
  • Box alfalfa leafcutting bee equipment is not imported

2.4 Management and Maintenance of Bee Equipment, Dead Bees, and Bee Products

  • Box inspection for condition and damage is conducted at least once a year
  • Box damaged nest backing material is culled
  • Box damaged trays and shelters are culled or repaired
  • Box a nest block and nest back filler replacement system is used
  • Box debris is cleaned and removed from equipment before disinfection
  • Box a designated cleaning area is used, where possible
  • Box culled material is stored in a separate area away from other operations
  • Box materials and equipment are disposed of appropriately
  • Box all reused equipment is disinfected once a year

2.5 Personal Sanitation

  • Box bees and equipment that have been cleaned and disinfected are handled before dirty or contaminated bees and equipment
  • Box healthy bees are attended to before suspect or diseased bees

Hands are washed where appropriate:

  • Box after handling infected equipment or bee cells and subsequently handling clean bees
  • Box if extra precautions are required in an operation due to persistently high levels of pathogens
  • Box soiled reusable gloves are washed and disinfected before reuse where appropriate
  • Box coveralls and clothing are washed regularly

2.6 Design of Facilities

  • Box roadways and pathways are graded and drained
  • Box facility exteriors are kept free from vegetation and debris

Interiors and exteriors of facilities are constructed and maintained to reduce exposure to pests:

  • Box cleaning and disinfection is considered in the design
  • Box temperature control is adequate
  • Box humidity control is adequate
  • Box air circulation/ventilation control is adequate
  • Box access by rodents, insects, and birds is limited
  • Box dust is controlled
  • Box lighting is limited
  • Box water supplies are adequate

Separate facilities exist for

  • Box bee cell processing
  • Box repairing and preparing nest blocks
  • Box incubation
  • Box filled nests and bee cell storage

2.7 Maintenance of Premises, Buildings, Vehicles, and Other Equipment

  • Box filled nest blocks and bee cell storage, and bee cell processing and incubation facilities are cleaned thoroughly once per year
  • Box all equipment used for handling infected material is cleaned
  • Box bee cell processing area is cleaned once a day to remove dust

Building and equipment disinfection considers:

  • Box contact with infected bee cells or equipment
  • Box cleaning (removal of debris and dust)
  • Box disinfection with an appropriate product

Buildings are maintained in optimal condition:

  • Box rodent and nuisance pest checks occur annually
  • Box environmental (temperature, humidity, and ventilation) monitoring is undertaken
  • Box environmental alarm systems are used, if possible
  • Box regular physical observation and monitoring occurs
  • Box vehicles and portable equipment are cleaned at designated cleaning areas
  • Box used water is contained or drained

2.8 Control of Weeds and Nuisance Pests

Regular monitoring occurs for:

  • Box damage
  • Box theft or vandalism
  • Box presence of weeds
  • Box unused or broken equipment
  • Box garbage
  • Box other attractants

Weed control:

  • Box mowing
  • Box weeding
  • Box herbicides

Rodent control:

  • Box traps
  • Box cats and dogs
  • Box recommended poison
  • Box building maintenance
  • Box monitoring

2.9 Training and Education

  • Box A training/education program is implemented.
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