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Bumblebee Sector Guide To The National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard

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Bee equipment
Any structure, material, or enclosure and its related components that are used to protect and house bees. This may include structures that facilitate egg laying and brood development or contain food. Examples include nest boxes for bumblebees. For the purposes of the Standard and Producer Guides, hives or nests will be used to describe this equipment.
Bee industry authority
A provincial apiarist, bee inspector, veterinarian, or regulating authority, including the CFIA or Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).
A generic term used to identify anyone who owns or is in possession of bees; utilizes pollination services; and handles bees, related bee equipment, production inputs and outputs, and waste material. The person may be the owner/operator, a trained beekeeper, staff, or family member. The term beekeeper is commonly used in honey beekeeping. The term grower is used in the bumblebee sector, where the crop that the bees pollinate is the primary product.
Farm-level biosecurity refers to a set of practices used to minimize the transmission of pests in animal and plant populations, including their introduction (bioexclusion), spread within the populations (biomanagement), and release (biocontainment).
Biosecurity program
A risk reduction program that conforms to the CFIA national standard and is designed to prevent the introduction and spread of pests in bee operations.
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 (honey, alfalfa leafcutting, and bumblebees) at the farm level. The goal of the Standard is to minimize the introduction and spread of pests onto, within, and beyond the farm.
Any indoor facility used in the beekeeping operation, such as storage, maintenance, facilities used for over-wintering or incubating bees, or processing.
Free of any visible accumulation of organic matter and debris or other residues. Refer also to disinfection and sanitation.
The presence of a pathogen, living parasite, or insect pest on a surface or in debris that may be transmitted directly or indirectly to a living host organism (i.e. bee or brood).
Any loose material that may be capable of harbouring pathogens, parasites, or pests. Examples include dead bees and bee parts, feces, dead parasites, and other discarded material.
An unhealthy condition in the bee caused, for example, by a biological agent such as bacteria, or a viral or fungal pathogen or parasite that may result in death.
Applying a physical or chemical process to a surface for the purpose of destroying or inhibiting the activity of micro-organisms. This is often done with a disinfecting agent, such as bleach, or by treatments, including heat, irradiation, or fumigation, in conjunction with cleaning.
The distributor of commercial bumblebees receives bees from a supplier, delivering to the end-user grower (Refer to Figure 1, which outlines the roles of each).
Elevated response plan
A farm-level plan that is triggered by the suspected or confirmed presence of a notifiable, high-risk, exotic, or unfamiliar disease, pest, or parasite in the grower's operation, local area, or country.
Pests that are regularly re-occurring or whose causative agent is established within a region or population.
Infectious pests that normally do not occur in the region, either because they have never been present there or because they were eradicated and then kept out by government control measures or agricultural practices.
Farm/farm level
Includes all aspects of the operations of the farm or greenhouse, as applicable.
Federally reportable and notifiable
A legal requirement to contact the CFIA if a specified bee disease, caused by a pathogen, parasite, or insect pest, is suspected or if the diagnosis is confirmed. Only laboratories are required to contact the CFIA regarding specified notifiable diseases.
A greenhouse or field crop grower are individuals who are the end-users of bumblebees, usually purchasing bees from a supplier through a distributor to pollinate their plant crops (Figure 1, outlining the roles of each). A grower's primary role in the biosecurity system for bumblebees is their containment and appropriate disposal.
A bumblebee hive includes both the bees in the colony and the nest box in which they are kept.
A living host organism (i.e. bee or brood) 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 (i.e. bee or brood) or its hive or nest.
Insect pest
Insect pests are predators that infest a hive or nest, cause damage, and consume brood and food stores, resulting in economic loss. Primary insect pests of bees live part of their life cycle within the hive or nest and can be spread with the movement of bees and equipment. Refer also to Nuisance pest.
Integrated pest management (IPM)
A pest management system that uses all suitable techniques, in the context of the associated environment and population dynamics of the pest, to maintain pest populations at levels below those causing economic injury.
Managed bees
Includes bees for which some form of artificial housing is provided (i.e. hive or nest). Unmanaged native and wild bees are excluded.
Nuisance pest
A nuisance pest may disturb the bees, cause distress, damage the hive or nest material, consume bees, brood and bee cells, rob food stores, spread diseases and parasites, and result in weakened bees that are more susceptible to other bee pests. Nuisance pests include insects such as ants and wasps, rodents, racoons, skunks, large mammals such as bears, as well as some birds, and even pets. Refer also to Pest.
An organism that lives upon or within another living organism, and may be dependent upon the host for its survival. Common parasites of bumblebees include tracheal mites.
A biological agent, such as a bacteria, virus or fungus, that has the potential to cause bee disease; for example a protozoan (Crithidia bombi) or a fungus (Nosema bombi).
Personal equipment
Includes items that are considered an extension of the grower's person and may come in contact with infected or infested bees, and contaminated debris or hive equipment. Examples include tools, brushes, gloves, and protective clothing.
Applies to bees, bee equipment, bee products, and production inputs for which their importation, interprovincial movement, purchase and/or use is regulated by the government and is permitted.
A pest is an unwanted organism. A pest may be a parasite, disease pathogen, predator, or insect pest. Pest is used as a generic term in this document to refer to any of these living organisms.
A parcel of land with a continuous property boundary and defined by a legal land description or, in its absence, by geo-referenced coordinates. Premises include indoor facilities or outdoor locations used for the bee operation where the following are kept, used or disposed of: bees, hives or nests, personal equipment, bee supplies, moving, handling, and processing equipment.
Producer guidance
Voluntary guidelines and examples of beneficial management practices, directed to producers for implementing biosecurity measures as defined by the National Standard at the farm level. Guidelines are specific to the industry subsector (honey bee, alfalfa leafcutting bee, and bumblebee).
A code of conduct, defined procedure, or series of steps to follow when implementing biosecurity management practices.
Provincial apiarist or apiculturist (PA)
Provincial government employees who study, educate, and administer regulation in the field of apiculture. Typically responsible for enforcing the Apiary Act, Bee Act, or equivalent. The PA is typically also an inspector.
A specific order applied to a particular premises, bees, or equipment by the provincial apiarist or the bee regulating authority to prevent further spread or to detect a biosecurity risk or concern.
Quarantine area
An area specified by a provincial apiarist, or the bee regulating authority in which there are additional efforts by industry and/or government to prevent further spread or to detect the biosecurity risk of concern.
A product, treatment, or practice recommended by a bee industry authority. When used in reference to chemicals such as pesticides or pharmaceuticals, the term means products that are registered by the appropriate regulatory authority for the specific usage mentioned in the text.
A set of practices that reduce the presence of organic material/debris and reduce the presence, survivability, and infectivity of disease-causing 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.
The producer of commercial bumblebees to be delivered to the end-user grower for the purposes of pollinating plant crops, usually through a distributor (Figure 1, outlining the roles of each). Suppliers' primary role in the biosecurity system for bumblebees is ensuring their isolation from any other bees.
Target outcomes
Goals that all those who manage bees, regardless of the size of their operation, should try to attain to protect their bees from introduction and spread of diseases, parasites, and pests.
A measurable level of a factor that contributes to bee health, including a level of infection or infestation at which intervention should be taken to limit negative impact on bee health and on economic loss.
Figure 1: Roles of Suppliers, Distributors, and Growers in Bumblebee Industry
Flowchart - Roles of Suppliers, Distributors, and Growers in Bumblebee Industry. Description follows.
Description of Flowchart - Figure 1

Figure 1 is a flow process diagram that illustrates the roles of bumblebee suppliers, distributors and growers with boxes connected by arrows in a series of conditional steps.

The figure is divided into two sections labelled:

  • Isolation and government certification
  • Containment and disposal
  1. The first box in the Isolation and government certification section is labelled Bumblebee Supplier. A single arrow leads to a box labelled Sample Testing and Pest Maximizing
  2. From Sample Testing and Pest Maximizing three arrows lead to:
    • The Containment and disposal section
    • A box labelled Response: Disposal
    • A box labelled Seedstock Queens
  3. From Seedstock Queens a single arrows leads to a box labelled Test all hives for pests.
  4. From Test all hives for pests a single arrow leads back to the first box labelled Bumblebee Supplier
  5. From Sample Testing and Pest Maximizing an arrow leads to the Containment and disposal section to three boxes labelled:
    • Distributor (an arrow also leads directly from this box to the two labelled below)
    • Greenhouse Crop Grower
    • Field Crop Grower
  6. From both Greenhouse Crop Grower and Field Crop Grower arrows lead to two boxes labelled:
    • Disposal
    • Response: Disposal

This figure maps out the roles of suppliers, distributors and growers. Regarding isolation and government certification, suppliers perform sample testing and pest monitoring for seedstock queens and all produced hives. If a concern is detected the response action is disposal.

Distributors and growers are responsible for containment and disposal. If a concern is detected the response action is disposal.

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