National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard
Appendix A: Examples of Management Topics

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Overall outcome of this Standard: To minimize the introduction to and spread of pests within and beyond the bee operation. Most of the topics described below require some level of record keeping to achieve the target outcome and are described in more detail in the Producer Guides.

Section 1: Bee Health Management

1.1 Bee Sources

Target Outcome: Exposure to pests is minimized by introducing bee stocks of known health status. Sources are documented to enable traceability.

Honey Bee

  • External Purchase source
  • Selection of resistant stock and stock that exhibits hygienic behaviour
  • Management of purchased queens (removing attendants, replacing queen cages)
  • Segregation (of bees and nucs)
  • Internal sources (nucs and queen rearing)
  • Capturing swarms
  • Uniting
  • Inspection/Assessment/Testing/Monitoring
  • Preventative treatment
  • Documentation and regulatory compliance
  • Traceback

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Supplier and stock selection
  • Lot establishment
  • Sampling
  • Testing
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Documentation and traceback

Bumblebee

  • Supplier selection
  • Regulations and compliance
  • Receiving, inspection, and assessment
  • Placing bees
  • Sanitation

1.2 Prevention: Minimizing Susceptibility to Pests

Target Outcome: Factors are managed to reduce the bees susceptibility to pests. A response is implemented when threshold levels are reached.

Honey Bee

  • Equipment set-up (stacking off ground/spacing)
  • Environmental exposure (wind, temperature, humidity)
  • Feeding (supplements/nectar flow)
  • Watering
  • Field stocking rates
  • Transportation
  • Movement within season
  • Avoid pesticide exposure
  • Preventative treatments
  • Cultural methods (drone trapping, interruption of brood rearing, splitting)
  • Uniting colonies
  • Queen/nuc production

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Storage and incubation conditions
  • Nest construction
  • Shelter maintenance
  • Manage bee drifting and intermixing
  • Irrigation management

Bumblebee

  • Protection from weather extremes:
    • Reduce overcrowding
    • Hive orientation
    • Shade
    • High carbon dioxide avoidance
    • Hives placed off the ground
    • Wind shelter
  • Ensure adequate feed and water
  • Minimize disturbance:
    • Moving hives
    • Transportation
  • Avoid pesticide exposure

1.3 Prevention: Minimizing Exposure

Target Outcome: Direct and indirect contact with infected or infested bees is minimized.

Honey Bee

  • Equipment (# of brood chambers, using excluders, screened bottom boards)
  • Apiary placement (segregation)
  • Proximity to extraction facilities
  • Feeding method
  • Robbing and drifting
  • Intermixing with other bee species
  • Swarm prevention
  • Awareness of neighbours' practices and bee health
  • Queen/nuc production

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Storage and incubation conditions
  • Removing trays and emerged bee cells from field
  • Shelter selection, shelter placement, and orientation
  • Stocking rates
  • Bee release and field health
  • Filled nest block removal
  • Bee cell processing
  • Transport

Bumblebee

  • Hive placement
  • Transportation
  • Restricting movement
  • Queen excluder

1.4 Diagnosis and Monitoring

Target Outcome: Pests and their signs are accurately diagnosed. Bee operations are monitored to assess the risk of pests.

Honey Bee

  • Ongoing health assessment
  • Investigation triggers (bee health and productivity thresholds)
  • Identification of pests and their signs (endemic and exotic)
  • Testing/verification
  • Test for suspected resistance
  • Treatment efficacy
  • Area outbreaks and alerts

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Ongoing health assessment
  • Investigation triggers (bee health and productivity thresholds)
  • Identification of pests and their signs (known Canadian problems and those from abroad)
  • Sampling, testing/verification

Bumblebee

  • Area/supplier/industry alerts
  • Ongoing assessment
  • Investigation triggers
  • Identification of pests and their signs
  • Sampling/testing

1.5 Standard Response Plan

Target Outcome: A standard response plan is in place to address treatment thresholds, options and rotation plans, notification procedures, record keeping, and follow-up actions.

Honey Bee

  • Seasonal treatment thresholds
  • Treatment plan (segregation, culling, cultural and chemical)
  • Treatment scope (# and location of colonies treated)
  • Product rotation plan
  • Follow annual treatment recommendations
  • Follow strip removal/disposal recommendations
  • Follow product labels
  • Communication and notification

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Treatment thresholds
  • Treatment plan (culling, selling, cultural and chemical)
  • Follow product labels
  • Techniques used for control of chalkbrood, parasites and stored product pests.

Bumblebee

  • Hive disposal and replacement
  • Principles of treating with chemicals
  • Follow recommendations
  • Product labels

1.6 Elevated Response Plan

Target Outcome: An elevated response plan is in place, and the conditions under which it will be implemented are understood.

Honey Bee

  • List of conditions to trigger an elevated response plan
  • Response plan includes:
    • Communications and notification (contact telephone numbers)
    • Management protocol for bee introductions, shipments
    • Bee-management protocol
    • Quarantine protocols
    • Visitor and supplier protocol
    • Signage

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • List of conditions to trigger an elevated response plan
  • Response plan includes:
    • Communications and notification (contact telephone numbers)
    • Management protocol for bee purchases and shipments
    • Bee management protocol (additional sanitation protocol)
    • Quarantine protocols
    • Visitor and supplier protocol
    • Signage

Bumblebee

  • List of conditions to trigger an elevated response plan
  • Response plan includes:
    • Communication and notification (contact telephone numbers)
    • Management protocol for bee introductions, shipments
    • Bee-management protocol
    • Quarantine protocols
    • Visitor and supplier protocol
    • Signage

Section 2: Operations Management

2.1 Obtaining production inputs

Target Outcome: Only recommended production inputs are utilized and are obtained from known and reliable sources.

Honey Bee

  • Feed, supplements, other treatments (e.g. essential oils)
  • Pollen and pollen substitutes
  • Water
  • Pest management and treatment products

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Pest management and treatment products

Bumblebee

  • Feed
  • Water
  • Treatments

2.2 Handling and disposal of production inputs

Target Outcome: The degradation and contamination of production inputs is prevented by safe and secure storage and disposal.

Honey Bee

  • Disposal of excess sugar and other feed and water
  • Disinfection or disposal of packing material (imported bees)
  • Storage and handling of pharmaceuticals, chemical treatments, and supplies

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Storage and handling of chemical treatments and supplies

Bumblebee

  • Disposal of excess or contaminated production inputs
  • Handling of feed and water
  • Storage of production inputs

2.3 Obtaining bee equipment

Target Outcome: Bee equipment is obtained from known and reliable sources. Used equipment is accompanied by proper permits, if required, and is cleaned and disinfected or treated upon arrival as needed.

Honey Bee

  • Bee equipment type (hive boxes, frames, screens, foundation type, excluders)
  • Identification of equipment
  • New/used

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Bee equipment type (nest blocks, nest block backing, trays, shelters)
  • Receiving and treating used equipment

Bumblebee

  • Purchase new equipment only from a recognized supplier.

2.4 Management and maintenance of bee equipment, dead bees, and bee products

Target Outcome: Bee equipment is regularly inspected and, when necessary, action is taken to minimize negative impact to bee health.

Honey Bee

  • Inspection
  • Repair/replacement
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Routine disposal
  • Contaminated segregation and disposal (e.g. American foulbrood)
  • Storage/disposal of black combs and other used material
  • Storage practices

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Inspection
  • Equipment culling and repair
  • Cleaning and debris management
  • Equipment disposal
  • Equipment disinfection
  • Equipment storage

Bumblebee

  • Disposal of hive boxes

2.5 Personal Sanitation

Target Outcome: Precautions are taken to minimize the spread of pests through human contact with bees and equipment.

Honey Bee

  • Gloves/clothing
  • Handwashing
  • Tool disinfection

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Order of handling
  • Handwashing
  • Gloves/clothing

Bumblebee

  • Gloves/clothing
  • Handwashing
  • Tool disinfection

2.6 Design of facilities

Target Outcome: Facilities are constructed to allow for ease in cleaning, are bee-tight if needed, and are consistent with government standards, if applicable. The facilities have appropriate lighting and climate control for safe storage of bees and production inputs, and enable monitoring and control of pest management.

Honey Bee

  • Bee- and insect-proof
  • Temperature and humidity controlled storage
  • Appropriate ventilation
  • Adequate lighting
  • Washable floor material surfaces (i.e. floors, walls)

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Facility design
  • Construction materials
  • Temperature and humidity controlled storage and incubation
  • Ventilation
  • Dust control
  • Vapour-tight buildings for paraformaldehyde fumigation
  • Pest-tight buildings
  • Adequate lighting
  • Building segregation
  • Cleaning and waste disposal

Bumblebee

  • Section not included

2.7 Maintenance of premises, buildings, vehicles and other equipment

Target Outcome: A sanitation and maintenance program is implemented for all premises, buildings, vehicles, and other equipment.

Honey Bee

  • Designated cleaning areas Sanitation (cleaning/washing)
  • Disinfection
  • Waste-water disposal
  • Yard and premises' maintenance
  • Links to on-farm food safety programs

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Premises maintenance
  • Sanitation (cleaning/washing)
  • Disinfection
  • Premises maintenance
  • Designated cleaning areas

Bumblebee

  • Remove old hive boxes
  • Clean and disinfect the area from where hive boxes are being removed
  • Monitor ventilation and temperature systems in greenhouses

2.8 Control of weeds and nuisance pests

Target Outcome: An integrated management program for weeds and nuisance pests is implemented.

Honey Bee

  • Weeds
  • Insects (wasps, wax moths, ants)
  • Rodents (mice), raccoons, and skunks
  • Large mammals (bear, cattle)
  • Birds

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Monitoring
  • General control
  • Weeds
  • Insects
  • Rodents (mice)
  • Birds

Bumblebee

  • Weeds
  • Wasps
  • Mice
  • Larger mammals
  • Birds

2.9 Training and Education

Target Outcome: All those working in a beekeeping operation or utilizing bees are trained and regularly updated on biosecurity risks and protocols.

Honey Bee

  • Plan
  • Permits and regulations (where applicable)
  • Beekeeper education and updates
  • Staff training and update

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee

  • Plan
  • Producer education and updates
  • Staff training and update

Bumblebee

  • Plan
  • Education and updates
  • Staff training and update
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