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Hiveworld Quarantine and Undertaking

December 08, 2021

Hiveworld Quarantine and Undertaking

We wanted to provide our customers with information and context surrounding our experience in 2020. This was our fifth season delivering live bees in Alberta and British Columbia, and we experienced a quarantine order for the first time due to European Foulbrood. 

In our apiaries, we take special care to monitor and manage our hives very closely throughout the season. We welcome the Alberta Provincial Apiculturist to inspect our hives as part of our process. In 2020, during a spring inspection in one of our 28 bee yards, we were told that our hives may have American Foulbrood (this wasn't the case). The news was both shocking and devastating.

After extensive testing took place over a number of weeks, the government eventually confirmed a sample of A-Typical European Foulbrood. This resulted in a quarantine order that meant we could not move bees. The source of the infection could not be confirmed. In hindsight, source identification was complicated by the alarming increase in EFB explained in the link below. Having never experienced this before, it was a very difficult time for us at Hiveworld. Throughout the process, we worked with the Alberta Apiculturist's team and followed their direction on how to manage and treat.

During the quarantine period, despite our efforts, some nucs were in error delivered to three customers. We sincerely apologize that these bees were transferred, as employees did not receive a quarantine briefing quickly enough. This appropriately resulted in an undertaking under the Consumer Protection Act (see the filing here). We cooperated with the government and provided a list of customers who could have been affected and provided refunds. We learned a lot during this process, and have since made improvements to our employee notification practices so that this does not happen again.  

Is the quarantine still in place? Yes, the quarantine is still currently sustained in Alberta. However, it does not apply to package bees and any bees (nucs) we sell with special permission from Alberta Provincial Apiculturist. If you would like more clarity around what the quarantine entails, please contact the Office of the Alberta Apiculturist at 780-644-8746 or email: bee@gov.ab.ca.

EFB has been on the rise in Alberta since 2015, and we know that there were many other beekeepers who had similar experiences. Learn more by viewing the Alberta governments report Potential Economic Impact of European American Foulbrood on Albertas Beekeeping Industry (updated Nov. 2020)EFB is a serious problem in the bee industry (find more information here). Beekeepers need to be aware of the signs and monitor throughout the season along with Varroa mites and other serious pests. 

In our sixth season in 2021, we delivered over 3,000 packages and nucs (before the heat wave) to happy customers in Alberta and British Columbia. As a company who is dedicated to honey bee husbandry, there are a number of factors that can complicate distribution of bees like weather, pests and logistics. We always do our best to plan and foresee any challenges. We follow the provincial guidelines and also have a unique policy named Live Bees Guarantee to support customers when purchasing bees from us. Our customer's experience is important to us, and feedback is always welcomed so that we can continually improve our business practices. 

If you have any questions, as always, please contact us.




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