Small Hive Beetle Quarantine in Essex & Chatham-Kent Revoked Yesterday

Dr. Leslie Woodcock, Chief Veterinarian for Ontario, announced today that the SHB quarantine, affecting beekeepers in Essex County and the municipality of Chatham-Kent, has been revoked. 

OBA's Position
The invasive beetle has spread to other parts of Ontario (and Canada), since it was first detected in Ontario in 2010. It has been detected in 35 different places in Ontario, including several finds in the Niagara region adjacent to the US border, and in commercial beekeeping operations. These finds and subsequent enhanced requirements for tracing the movement of colonies within Ontario and outside the province for honey bees transported for pollination, now make restrictions on Essex County irrelevent to the issue of managing and mitigating SHB in Ontario. 

The quarantine is longer effective in reducing the spread of the beetles and only places costly restrictions and an unfair burden on beekeepers and beekeeping operations with the quarantine zone. 

Therefore, the removal of the quarantine will allow beekeepers within the affected zone to resume normal business activities and movements of their hives, supporting equitable treatment consistent with that of beekeepers in the rest of the province. As always, permits are still required by beekeepers for selling bees anywhere in the province. The ministry will continue to provide advice to help beekeepers prevent, monitor and manage this pest as needed.

The OBA, through its Small Hive Beetle Working Group, will continue to work closely with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Apiculture Program on this matter going forward.