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

  1. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)
    1. Caution: Bleach is toxic; refer to product label, and use protective gear, including gloves and respirators when using.
    2. Require solutions at concentrations of 3%–5%.
    3. 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.
    4. Dip nests blocks in the solution in a similar fashion to bee cells.
    5. Spray nests, shelters, trays, building, and other equipment with a bleach solution; good coverage is important.
    6. Avoid using bleach on metal, especially with metal screens on trays. Bleach is corrosive to metal and may damage equipment.
  2. Heat
    1. Bee equipment, trays, and racks, and processing equipment can be heat treated to kill the chalkbrood spores.
    2. 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.
  3. Paraformaldehyde treatment of bee cells, bee equipment, and facilities can also be used to control chalkbrood. The following should be considered when using paraformaldehyde:
    1. 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.
    2. i Ensure that room, buildings, and containers are vapour-tight.
    3. Make sure rooms have good air circulation, temperature, and humidity control.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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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