Ongoing Issues & Actions

The OBA’s advocacy role involves early identification, analysis and strategic response toward resolution.

Active issues include:

Neonicotinoid Bee Poisonings in Ontario:

The OBA has become very concerned for the future of the honey bee in Ontario because of the reports we have been getting from our members and from the data presented to us by independent research scientists from Canada and around the world. This position statement details the OBA official position on this issue. If you suspect that your bees have been affected by the planting of treated seeds, contact PMRA using these guidelines. For comprehensive information and resources on neonicotinoid pesticides. 

The Importation of bee packages from the U.S.

The OBA has been supportive of the Government of Canada's commitment to the well-being of Canada's bees by not allowing the importantion of U.S. package bees into Canada. Recently, some provinces have requested that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-food revisit this decision to allow packages to be imported at least in the short term. For more information on this issue. 

The Small Hive Beetle (SHB)

According to an OMAFRA advisory, there has been a small hive beetle find in the Niagara region, a few kilometres west of Niagara Falls near the US border. Provincial Apiarist Paul Kozak said the small hive beetle was discovered by the beekeeper and reported to the local inspector. "The good news is that after inspecting thousands of hives in 2012/13 and this year so far, this is the first new sighting.

The SHB was first identified in Ontario in 2010 in Essex County. At that time the OBA recommended a quarantine of the region which is still in effect and includes the entire County of Essex and part of the municipality of Chatham-Kent. Other small finds have occurred outside the quarantine area in various parts of the Province and have been controlled through depopulation. The beekeeper in Niagara will also be depopulating his affected hives. His losses will be covered by the current compensation fund for losses due to small hive beetle control measures.

At an OBA Board of Directors meeting called on June 16th to discuss this event, the  Directors determined that the most effective course of action was to continue to eradicate the hives but not to expand the quarantine area to include Niagara. "We've learned a lot about how to prevent and manage small hive beetles since they were first found in Canada," said Dan Davidson, "and we have a better understanding of the impact on beekeeping. At this point, we believe that over-reacting to this find could have worse consequences for Ontario's beekeepers than the beetle itself."

The OBA will be advising OMAF against quarantine at this time, but will continue to be exploring options and methods for control, as well as financial and other support for beekeepers.

In the meantime, OBA encourages all beekeepers to be watchful for SHB. Adult beetles will quickly move away from the light, so it is important to scan the top bars as soon as you open the inner cover. Adults are looking for warmth, especially during cooler weather, and will hang out along the top bar. Other hiding spots include uncapped wax cells, the crevices of plastic frames or underneath adult bees. Larvae are often found feeding on pollen patties.

As with most hive diseases and pests, prevention through good hive management is the best defence. OMAF recommends that beekeepers manage colonies for optimum strength, maintain healthy queens and minimize the amount of unprotected comb (i.e. be sparing with supering). It is also important to keep the apiary clean of any wax debris.

For more information or to comment on the OBA's recommendations, contact For more detailed information on prevention, identification and treatment, check out this OMAF publication: Small Hive Beetle Treatment Recommendations. But don't forget, when in doubt, call your local bee inspector.