Language selection


Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee Producer Guide to the National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

General terms used throughout this Producer Guide are defined below. Additional definitions are provided as key words that apply to specific topics.

Adult bee
An adult bee is a fully developed bee that has emerged from its cocoon.
Alfalfa leafcutting bee specialist
An individual who acts as a resource for alfalfa leafcutting bee producers in a region. The specialist may provide advice on production issues, biosecurity management practices, suppliers, etc. Specialists include alfalfa leafcutting bee researchers, provincial apiarists, and representatives of the alfalfa leafcutting bee industry associations.
When used in reference to chemicals such as pesticides, means approved by the appropriate regulatory authority for the specific usage mentioned in the text. Not all products are approved for use, but rather are recommended by industry for use. Refer to the definition of Recommended for further information.
May be used to describe a bee in any stage of its life cycle. This includes larval, prepupal, pupal, and adult bees.
Bee cell
A structure made of leaf material where eggs are laid, and where a bee subsequently develops. Bee cells are referred to more often in this producer guide, as opposed to cocoons, but the handling of bee cells is equivalent to handling cocoons.
Bee cell processing
Processing describes the extraction of bee cells from nest blocks, breaking strings of bee cells into single cells and removing excess leaf material present on the cells. Equipment includes nest block rollers, bee cell extractors, cell breakers, tumblers, conditioners, conveyers, augers, and other equipment.
Bee cell storage containers
Any container that is used for the storage of bee cells after they have been extracted from nest blocks.
Bee equipment
Any equipment that is used by bees for constructing nests and laying eggs, including nest blocks, nest backing material, boards and strapping used to assemble nests. Bee equipment also includes bee cell trays and shelters.
A generic term used to identify anyone who owns or is in possession of bees. The person may be the owner/operator, a trained beekeeper, staff, family member, or bee broker. In the alfalfa leafcutting bee industry, a beekeeper may also be referred to as a producer.
Bee operation
All aspects of the beekeeping, bee product production and pollination operations that the beekeeper is responsible for, regardless of where the bees are placed; comparable to the farm in other types of agriculture.
Biosecurity program
A risk reduction program that conforms to CFIA national standards and is designed to prevent and control the introduction and spread of pathogens.
Biosecurity risk
An activity, condition, or situation that, without mitigation, increases the risk of potential introduction or spread of a hazard in the form of a pathogen, parasite, or insect pest.
Biosecurity standard
A high level, consistent set of principles and Target Outcomes that apply to all beekeepers (alfalfa leafcutting bees, honey bees, and bumblebees) at the farm level. The goal of the standard is to minimize the introduction and spread of pathogens, parasites, and pests onto a farm, within a farm and beyond the farm.
Any indoor facility used in the beekeeping operation for the purpose of storage, bee cell processing, incubation, treatment, or maintenance.
Canadian Cocoon Testing Centre ( CCTC )
Testing centre for alfalfa leafcutting bee cocoons, located in Brooks, Alberta, and operated under governance of alfalfa leafcutting bee organizations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In this document, CCTC is meant to identify the CCTC , or any industry-recommended testing facility that replaces or supplements the CCTC in the future.
Canadian Loose Bee Cell Management System
An alfalfa leafcutting bee management system, where bee cells are extracted from nests and incubated as loose bee cells, and allows for treatment and sanitation practices to be followed for bees and bee equipment, thus enabling the control of biosecurity risks including pathogens, parasites and insect pests.
Ascosphaera aggregata, a pathogen that is unique to alfalfa leafcutting bees, in either its sporulating or non-sporulating forms.
Free of any visible accumulation of organic matter and debris or other residues. See also sanitation.
a protective covering that encloses a bee in the diapausing prepupal stage. A cocoon is further enclosed in leaf material - refer to bee cell.
Composite sample
A sample that consists of two or more discrete individual samples that are collected in a common container.
Cultural method
A non-chemical method for managing pests. Examples include: bee equipment management, sanitation.
Loose material including empty bee cells, dead bees and bee parts, bee feces, dead parasites, and other discarded material typically collected in trays or on nest blocks.
A condition in the bee, caused by a biological agent such as bacteria or fungal pathogen that may result in death or morbidity.
The process of killing pathogenic organisms or rendering them inert. This is often done with a disinfecting agent like bleach, or through heat or fumigation treatment, and may be undertaken in conjunction with sanitation.
the effectiveness of an intervention or treatment in suppressing or eliminating a pathogen, parasite or pest.
Elevated response plan
A farm-level plan that is triggered by the suspected or confirmed presence of high risk, exotic or unfamiliar disease, parasite, or stored product pest in the beekeeper's operation, local area, or country.
An organism restricted to an area.
An organism not native to an area. The organism has typically come from another area.
Farm/farm level
Refer to Bee Operation.
A unit of measure for alfalfa leafcutting bee cells. A gallon, by definition, is 10,000 healthy alfalfa leafcutting bee prepupae.
Incubated bee
Bees that have undergone incubation and have either emerged from their cells as adults or are in the final developmental stage prior to emergence from their cells. Incubated bees are taken to the field for release.
A living host organism (for example a bee or bee cell) that is affected by a pathogen.
The presence of a living parasite or insect pest, at any stage of its life cycle, on or in a living host organism (for example a bee or bee cell or nest).
Insect pest
An insect that poses a direct risk to a bee, generally through infesting the nest, laying eggs, and eventually consuming bee eggs, or larvae. Insect pest may also represent other types of predators that consume bee larvae. For alfalfa leafcutting bees, insect pests include stored product pests, although there are potentially other insects that may be covered by this definition. See Stored Product Pest.
A person who inspects beekeeping operations for compliance with regulations, or pathogen, pest, and parasite management.
A collection of bees that can be identified as a unique group within a beekeeping operation, often having common characteristics (quality, field history, treatment history) and defined quantity (number of containers, nests).
Practices followed by beekeepers to manage bees, and manage their environment and risks (including biosecurity).
The nest structure that is placed in field shelters. Nests are assembled by strapping (or otherwise securing) one or more nest blocks to a backing that is composed of nest backing material and a board.
Nest assembly
The process of assembling nests.
Nest block
A block often made of polystyrene or wood laminate with nest holes throughout. A typical nest block will contain several thousand nest holes.
Nest holes
Round holes or tunnels in nest blocks, which alfalfa leafcutting bees use to construct bee cells with leaf material, provisioning the cells with pollen and nectar, and then laying eggs. Alfalfa leafcutting bees will construct multiple bee cells in a nest hole, creating a string of bee cells within each nest hole.
Federally reportable or notifiable
A legal requirement for laboratories to inform the CFIA of the suspected or confirmed diagnosis of a specified bee disease caused by a pathogen, parasite, or pest. Currently there are no federally reportable or notifiable pests of alfalfa leafcutting bees.
Nuisance pest
A pest that causes a nuisance. A nuisance pest may disturb bees, damage the nest blocks, nest in or near the nest block, thereby causing susceptibility to parasites and insect pests. Nuisance pests may be a risk to bees in the field and in buildings. Nuisance pests include rodents such as mice and some birds. The goal of nuisance pest control is to protect bees by using traps, poison, or through cleaning and maintenance.
Other equipment
Other equipment is a catch-all description in this document that is used to describe all other equipment used in alfalfa leafcutting beekeeping that is not described in bee equipment. It includes, but is not limited to, bee cell processing equipment, assembly equipment, scales, racks, disinfecting and sanitation equipment, and other treatment equipment.
An organism that is dependent upon the host for its survival. Common parasites of alfalfa leafcutting bees include chalcid parasites.
An organism causing a disease, for example, a fungus (chalkbrood, foliar moulds).
Personal equipment
Includes items that are considered an extension of the beekeepers person and may come in contact with infected or infested bees, debris, or bee equipment. Examples include brushes, gloves, and coveralls.
A pest is an unwanted organism. A pest may be a parasite, or pathogen, or insect pest. Pest does not include Nuisance Pests for the purpose of this guidance document.
An indoor facility or outdoor location used for the beekeeping operation. Premises include locations where the following are kept or used: bee cells, nest blocks, personal equipment, processing equipment, and beekeeping supplies, etc.
The terms producer and beekeeper are both used in this document to describe a person that keeps and manages bees and bee equipment. See beekeeper.
Producer guide
Voluntary guidelines directed toward producers for implementing biosecurity management practices at the farm level. Guidelines are specific to an industry subsector (in this case, alfalfa leafcutting bees).
Production input
Production inputs include consumable products such as treatment products for diseases, parasites and pest control, and products used for cleaning and disinfection. Production inputs exclude bee cells and reusable bee equipment such as nest blocks, tools, and protective clothing.
A required or recommended procedure, or series of steps to be followed to implement biosecurity management practices.
Provincial apiarist PA or apiculturist
Provincial government employees who study, educate, and administrate in the fields of apiculture and pollination. Typically responsible for enforcing the Apiary Act, Bee Act, or equivalent. For alfalfa leafcutting beekeepers, PAs are included with researchers and other resource personnel who are labelled Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Specialists, as not every province has a PA that supports the industry.
Stands that are used to hold trays during incubation.
Something that is advised by an Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Specialist, government, or industry association for use or management of alfalfa leafcutting bees. It may include equipment, treatment products, supplier, or a management practice. Something that is recommended will generally include approved products, in addition to equipment, treatment products, suppliers, and practices that do not require any approval for use.
The process of taking incubated bees to the field where they will begin their foraging, nest construction, nest provisioning, and egg laying.
A selection of bees that have been drawn from a population (lot), where the sample is meant to represent the characteristics of the population for testing.
A set of practices that reduces the presence of organic material/debris and reduces the presence, survivability, and infectivity of disease agents from an object or surface. Forms of sanitation include physical or mechanical removal and (power) washing and may be done in conjunction with disinfection.
Structures in which nest blocks are placed in the field. Shelters serve to protect the nest blocks and bees from the environment, and provide orientation for bees to find their nests.
Stored product pest
Stored product pests are insect pests that feed on bee larvae while the nests are in the field or in storage. Examples include Dried Fruit Moth, Black Carpet Beetle, Long-Tongued Blister Beetle, Checkered Flower Beetle, Indian Meal Moth, and Sunflower Beetle. Refer to Insect Pests.
Target outcomes
Goals that all beekeepers, regardless of the size of their operation, should try to implement to protect their bees from introducing and spreading pathogens, parasites, and pests.
A measurable level of a factor that contributes to bee susceptibility to pests, or a level of infection or infestation at which intervention should be taken to limit negative impact on bee health and cause economic loss.
Shallow containers used to hold bee cells during incubation and during any treatments applied during or before incubation. The trays are often screened on the top or bottom, or both. Trays are also used to transport incubated bees to the field for release.
Date modified: