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Animal health requirements for imports and transits of bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus spp) from third countries to and through Switzerland.
Only queen bees with a maximum of 20 attendants each may be imported from third countries. An import must be reported to the cantonal veterinary office responsible seven days before the arrival of the bees. On arrival, the bees must be received by the bee inspector responsible. The bee inspector must repack the queen bees into new containers with indigenous attendants in a hermetically sealed and well-lit room. To test the containers, attendants and all the material that has accompanied the queen bees from the third country of origin for small hive beetles (Aethina tumida), its eggs and /or larvae and signs of Tropilaelaps mites (Tropilaelaps spp.), they are first deep-frozen for at least 12 hours, in order to kill all stages of life, and they are then sent immediately to the national reference laboratory (Galli-Valerio Institute). After laboratory tests, all the material is safely disposed of. The queen bees remain in quarantine until laboratory testing is complete. In the event of a negative laboratory result (no evidence of Aethina tumida or Tropilaelaps mites) they can be taken to the beehives at their destination. The bees must then be regularly checked by the beekeeper. Observations of disease symptoms must be reported immediately to the bee inspector, who will issue the necessary instructions.
The cost of quarantine and laboratory tests will be charged to the importer.
(After the import of bumble bees the procedure to follow is that described in article 13(3) of Regulation (EU) No 206/2010, see below).
Bees and bumble bees shall only be introduced from third countries listed in Regulation (EU) No 206/2010 annex II part 1 and where the presence of the American foulbrood, the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) and the Tropilaelaps mite are subject to compulsory notification throughout the whole territory of the third country or territory concerned.
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