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Honey bee importation
Please do not import honey bees, used equipment, pollen, beeswax, etc. It is illegal to import bees and used equipment without a permit from the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Quarantine Protocol for Imported Australian Honey Bees

 The following information was provided to the NLBKA by the Gov't NL Forestry and Agrifoods Agency (now the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods).

  • Imported packaged honey bees will be quarantined for 12 months after the date of entry into Newfoundland;
  • During the 12-month quarantine period, imported Australian hives will be inspected on a regular basis by the Provincial Apiarist;
  • Appropriate biosecurity measures will take place between the Australian beehives and Newfoundland beehives during the 12 month quarantine period
  • Beekeepers will have separate beekeeping coats, hats, veils, gloves, hive tools, feeding containers, etc. for the Australian and Newfoundland hives;
  • Newfoundland hives and Australian hives will remain separate entities for the duration of the quarantine period;
  • Packaged honey bees will be inspected on a monthly basis succeeding the import.  Honey bees will be sampled for the following:
  • Nosema, Varroa mite, Tracheal mite, AFB, EFB, and Chalkbrood;
  • Black Queen Cells Virus, Kashmir Bee Virus, Acute Bee Paralysis Virus, Deformed Wing Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis, Sacbrood Virus, and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus;
These tests are at the expense of the Agrifoods Development Branch.  Ten percent (10%) of colonies or 10 colonies per apiary, whichever is greater, will be sampled in a rolling sampling method from month-to-month.
  •  Honey bees, queens, hives, or splits from the Australian imported honey bees will NOT be sold, given to others, or removed from the quarantine premises during the 12-month quarantine period;
  • Splits from Australian hives will be considered Australian imported honey bees until the 12-month quarantine period has ended.

 

News coverage related to the WA Honey Bee Importation

 


 Importing packages of western Australian honey bees

In 2015-16, one or more beekeepers worked through the federal and provincial permitting processes to apply to import West Australian honey bees. The isolation of the Perth Area of Australia is supposed to have protected their bees from varroa mites and many of the other pests and diseases that afflict bee populations in the rest of  the world – except for Newfoundland and a few other isolated places such as the Isle of Man in Great Britain. Nova Scotia allows importation of disease and mite free Western Australian bees, but that province already has the diseases that we do not have.

Importing requires a permit from the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods. Without a permit, one cannot bring ANY bees or queens into the province. These permits were issued on a one time basis because at the time NL bee suppliers could not fill the demand. We understand from the Department that just because a permit was issued in 2016 does not mean that a permit or permits will be issued in successive years. The ultimate aim is for NL to meet its own demand of  requests coming from beekeepers for nucs and queens.

Nucs or packages of bees brought into Newfoundland from Australia were inspected before leaving Australia and the paper work (e.g., Zoosanitary Export Certificate) reviewed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at the port of entry. Click here for the CFIA importation requirements.  When they arrived in Newfoundland they were to have been inspected again by the provincial apiarist. They were to be quarantined for a year, hopefully not interacting with any apiaries or native pollinators nearby. New beekeepers are NOT good candidates to go this route because they will not have familiarity with what to look for in a healthy or sick hive. They will not have the experience to deal with anything that they find. It is much better to wait a year and start with a population of Newfoundland-grown queens and nucs.

 


 

 

NLBKA pamphlet regarding importation of honey bees

Pamphlet pdf version

Beekeeping in Newfoundland and Labrador is still in its infancy, with fewer than 50 hobby and commercial beekeepers and less than 400 colonies in the entire province.  However, increasing numbers of people are interested in taking up beekeeping and several people are running commercial operations.  The future of beekeeping in the province points to expanded production of honey and other products, commercial pollination services and other benefits. 

 NL is currently in a unique position because it is free of most of the parasites and diseases that are causing serious problems for honey bees elsewhere in the world. Varroa and tracheal mites, American foulbrood, hive beetles, wax moths and other pests are not here – YET! 

The Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association is deeply concerned that importing honey bees, beekeeping products such as beeswax and pollen, used wooden ware and other beekeeping equipment could transmit these pathogens to our honey bees.

The law

The importation of honey bees and used wooden ware (“hives”) into NL is regulated under the Government of NL’s Animal Health and Protection Act, Animal Health Regulation 33/12, sections 6 and 7.  A permit is required to import honey bees and used hives, and various restrictions and requirements apply.  The regulation does not address other sources of infection such as beeswax, pollen and semen, but the NL Beekeeping Association will ask the Province to restrict their import.  

 

Read the complete regulation here - http://www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/Regulations/rc120033.htm

Pathogen vectors

One of more of the nasty parasites and diseases that plague honey bees in mainland North America can be transmitted by way of the following:[i]

  • honey bees (live queen honey bees, worker bees and drones, larvae and pupae);
  • honey bee semen and eggs;
  • used equipment associated with beekeeping (e.g., woodenware, foundation wax);
  • honey, comb honey, honey-bee-collected pollen, royal jelly;
  • beeswax (in the form of honeycomb);
  • beeswax (not in the form of honeycomb)

These pathogens can greatly increase the complexity and cost of beekeeping.

What you can do

Given our current pathogen profile (relatively free of pathogens), NL could make a significant contribution to protecting honey bees and their important role in fruit and vegetable pollination around the world. 

We need your help to keep our province free of these parasites and diseases. Please do not bring honey bees, beeswax, comb, pollen, used woodenware, and other beekeeping equipment into the province without a permit from the Government of NL.[i]

More information

If you have any questions about the importation of honey bees, bee products and equipment, please contact the Provincial Apiculturist – Karen Kennedy karenkennedy@gov.nl.ca or the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association, c/o Cormorant Ltd., 429 Windgap Road, Flatrock, NL, A1K 1C4, - Catherine@cormorant-ltd.com

 


Import Ban on Bumble Bees

Please do not import bumble bees and other insects for crop pollination

Pamphlet pdf version

The Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) is not native to Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and presently has not been established here.  It is used extensively in mainland North America as a commercial pollinator for greenhouse crops including tomatoes, muskmelons, and sweet peppers as well as various field crops such as watermelon, and cucumber, in addition to lowbush blueberry and cranberry. 

Unfortunately, these bumble bees and other Bombus species across mainland North America are known to harbour several parasites and diseases such as Nosema bombi, the microorganism Crithidia bombi, the tracheal mite Locustacarus (= Bombacarus) buchneri, and hymenopteran brood parasitoids such as Melittobia acasta and M. chalybii.

Commercial colonies of Bombus impatiens have spread some of these pathogens to native species. 

While it is unclear what impact the parasites and diseases would have on the 70 or more native bee species in NL, they have been implicated as the cause of the decline of important bee pollinators elsewhere in North America.  In addition to introducing new diseases, imported bumble bees may displace native populations through competition for resources, by disrupting genetic adaptations, or by hybridizing with native species.[i]

The law

The importation of bumble bees and other insect pollinators into NL is prohibited under the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Wild Life Regulations, Wild Life Act, Part VI, section 83, except with the prior written permission of the minister.[ii]

The Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association is deeply concerned that importing bumble bees and other insect pollinators could transmit these pathogens to our native bees and honey bees as well.

What you can do

Given our current pathogen free status, NL could make a significant contribution to protecting honey bees and their important role in fruit and vegetable pollination around the world.

We need your help to keep our province free of these parasites and diseases. Please do not import bumble bees or any other insects to pollinate crops! 

If you require pollination services, consider using honey bees from one of NL’s commercial beekeepers. See – http://www.nlbeekeeping.ca/our-bees-nl/pollination-services/

 

More information

If you have any questions about the threat of imported bumble bees and other insect pollinators, please contact the Provincial Apiculturist – Karen Kennedy karenkennedy@gov.nl.ca or the

Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping

Association, c/o Cormorant Ltd., 429 Windgap Road, Flatrock, NL, A1K 1C4, - Catherine@cormorant-ltd.com

 

 

 

 


[i] Colla, S.R., et al. 2006. “Plight of the bumble bee: pathogen spillover from commercial to wild populations.” Biological Conservation. 129: 461-467. http://www.savethebumblebees.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/Collaetal.pdf

 Graystock, Peter, et al. 2013. “The Trojan hives: pollinator pathogens, imported and distributed in bumblebee colonies.”  Journal of Applied Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12134

http://www.journalofappliedecology.org/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/jpe/file/jpe_12134_EV.pdf

 Winter, Kimberly, et al. 2006.  Importation of Non-Native Bumble Bees into North America: Potential Consequences of Using Bombus terrestris and Other Non-Native Bumble Bees for Greenhouse Crop Pollination in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). http://www.pollinator.org/Resources/BEEIMPORTATION_AUG2006.pdf

 [ii]http://www.assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/regulations/rc961156.htm#83_


[i] Irradiated pollen patties and pollen substitutes purchased from reputable suppliers are okay.


[i] Mutilleni, F. 2011. "The Spread of Pathogens Through Trade in Honey Bees and Their Products (Including Queen Bees and Semen): Overview and Recent Developments." Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz. 30 (1): 257-271. http://nlbeekeeping.ca/data/documents/mutinelli2011.pdf