Small hive beetle (SHB)

The Small Hive Beetle (SHB)

NEW! OMAFRA releases its new guidelines for management and biosecurity related to small hive beetle.

For beekeepers providing pollinator services outside of Ontario"




May 24, 2016

Provincial apiarist, Paul Kozak, report that there are three new SHB positive locations in Ontario.

These are based on specifiments collected and confirmed by a laboratory. 

Two new locations in Niagara  County

  • 1 commercial beekeeper
  • 1 non-commercial beekeeper

One location in Norfolk County

All three beekeepers have had SHB in previous years. 

CFIA and other provinces have been informed.


February 9, 2016

OMAFRA has released the slides from their presentation at the OBA AGM. Further information is to follow.

September 18, 2015

Notes from OBA/OMAFRA meeting on September 10, 2015 now posted.

Friday, September 11, 2015

ON currently has 17 confirmed SHB yards as of today.

-  Some of these yards are commercial beekeeping operations and the rest are non-commercial.

-  All of these yards are in Niagara County and restricted to the eastern 2/3 of Niagara county, primarily along the US border.

-  All confirmed yards are under restricted movement order.

OBA and OMAFRA met yesterday. We are currently writing up the notes from this meeting as well as the meeting between the OBA board and local association presidents and will update this posting within the next week or so.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A teleconference has been set up between OBA SHB Working Group and the local association presidents for September 8th at 8 p.m.

Friday, August 21, 2015

OBA President Tibor Szabo has received notification of 6 new small hive beetle finds in Niagara. Five of the six are in commercial yards and one in in a small, non-commercial yard. These locations are close to the U.S. border, but not close to the earlier finds in Niagara.

Tibor is planning to set up a conference call with the presidents of the local associations to discuss the issue.

August 18, 2015

August 10, 2015

OBA has been notified this week of two more SHB reports in an area adjacent to the original sighting in Niagara and located in non-commercial beeyards. These incidents should be no cause for alarm but the probability of SHB spreading to other parts of the province requires action. In response, the OBA formed a Small Hive Beetle Working Group in collaboration with OMAFRA to devise and implement a program to mitigate its impact. We will keep you informed as this plan progresses.

A report will be available in the September issue of the Ontario Bee Journal. For questions or for more information:


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 this year 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. 

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 OMAFRA 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. OMAFRA 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.