Small Hive Beetle
R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 57
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Bees Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter B.6.
Summary of Decision:
O. Reg. 426/10 was filed with the registrar of regulations on November 19, 2010. Effective January 1, 2011, Small Hive Beetles will be designated as a pest under R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 57 (General) of the Bees Act.
September 20, 2010
Summary of Proposal:
On September 8, 2010 the first reported case of small hive beetle (SHB) was found in Essex County in southwestern Ontario – approximately 15 km from the Michigan border. The SHB can be found in all states bordering Ontario.
The SHB is capable of inflicting damage and further stress to honey bee colonies, depending on the level of infestation and the overall health of the colony. The SHB can also infest honey extraction facilities and can spoil honey and other hive products. Since the SHB has been found, inspectors are continuing to inform beekeepers in this area about the presence of the SHB and recommending control measures or destruction. With the proposed amendment to the regulation under the Bees Act, the inspectors will be able to issue orders for treatment or destruction in order to try to contain the spread of the SHB.
SHB is an immediate notifiable disease that must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) upon official verification. The CFIA has made every indication that this is a provincial matter and the responsibility of the province to address this issue.
In Ontario, there are approximately 2,500 beekeepers with 80,000 honey bee colonies. Honey production is a $14 million industry, with pollination services accounting for an additional $1.5 million. The estimated value provided by the apiculture industry to Ontario agriculture is $171 million.
The proposed amendment to the Bees Act Regulation will designate the SHB as a pest under the regulation. Similar to other named pests and diseases, this will allow for bee inspectors to enter premises to inspect bees or beekeeping equipment and enable them to take samples to determine whether the pest is present. Where the SHB is found, the beekeeper may be required to take actions to contain the spread of the SHB.
The Ontario Beekeepers Association has been notified of the confirmed finding of the SHB and the quarantine. Staff are advising the Association and all registered beekeepers about best management practices concerning the treatment and containment of the SHB.
It is recommended that the Bees Act regulation be amended to add the SHB as a pest, to allow for the full powers of the Act and regulation to be used in a timely fashion to contain the spread of the SHB in honey bees.
Senior Policy Advisor
Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch
1 Stone Rd.
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
January 1, 2011