Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee Producer Guide to the National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard
Appendix D: Disinfection Treatment Techniques
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Bees, Bee Equipment, Buildings, and Other Equipment
- Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
- Caution: Bleach is toxic; refer to product label, and use protective gear, including gloves and respirators when using.
- Require solutions at concentrations of 3%–5%.
- Dip bee cells in solution for 1 to 3 minutes. Add bleach to the solution after each successive batch of bee cells is treated. The solution will heat up and thus will need to be replaced after 5 to 10 batches.
- Dip nests blocks in the solution in a similar fashion to bee cells.
- Spray nests, shelters, trays, building, and other equipment with a bleach solution; good coverage is important.
- Avoid using bleach on metal, especially with metal screens on trays. Bleach is corrosive to metal and may damage equipment.
- Bee equipment, trays, and racks, and processing equipment can be heat treated to kill the chalkbrood spores.
- Expose to 93° for 12 hours to kill chalkbrood spores. The core temperature of the room needs to be 93°, exposing any equipment to this temperature for a full 12 hours is required for complete treatment.
- Paraformaldehyde treatment of bee cells, bee equipment, and facilities can also be used to control chalkbrood. The following should be considered when using paraformaldehyde:
- Caution: Paraformaldehyde is toxic. Read safety instruction and product labels thoroughly prior to use. Avoid entering a room once treatment with paraformaldehyde has started. Take precautions to ensure the room has been completely ventilated before entering after treatment, and wear a respirator and protective clothing when entering the room at the appropriate interval following treatment.
- i Ensure that room, buildings, and containers are vapour-tight.
- Make sure rooms have good air circulation, temperature, and humidity control.
- For nesting material, trays and equipment, condition the nesting material for 48 hours at 20°–25°/ 60%–70% relative humidity before treating with paraformaldehyde. Stack nesting material, trays, and equipment to allow for good air circulation.
- When treating bee cells, place in trays at depths of 1 to 1.5 inches, and use screens on trays to allow for good exposure to chemical. Ensure trays are placed to allow for good air circulation.
- Be aware that bee cells that have been thoroughly conditioned before treatment to remove excess leaf material will yield optimum treatment results.
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