MCLENNAN, AB, July 15, 2014 /CNW/ - A Canada-wide honeybee health
surveillance study will be completed in Canada to document the health
of Canadian honeybees.
The Alberta Beekeepers Commission, representing 60 per cent of the honey
crop in Canada, submitted the grant proposal to conduct a Canada-wide
honeybee health surveillance study. The grant was approved by
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and will benefit beekeepers in every
"The Alberta Beekeepers Commission is pleased to receive the support of
the Federal Government to monitor honeybee health across Canada, for
the benefit of the whole Canadian beekeeping industry," says Grant
Hicks, president, Alberta Beekeepers Commission.
Currently, Canada does not have a national bee health surveillance
program in place. This study will build on the surveillance that's been
completed at a regional level and will provide crucial information to
continue to look at all factors affecting honeybee health.
"A functioning national research strategy will allow Canada's commercial
beekeepers to meet the growing pollination needs of various stakeholder
groups, as well as produce a surplus of exportable Canadian honey,"
There are a number of diseases that could have devastating impacts on
hives that can often go undetected by beekeepers because of their
complexity. The study will help to detect these types of diseases that
really can only be found in a lab.
Samples will be collected from all 10 provinces and analyzed for the
most common bee pests and diseases. In addition, apiaries will be
sampled for high-risk exotic pests.
The study will be led by Dr. Carlos Castillo and his team at the
National Bee Diagnostic Centre in Beaverlodge, Alberta and will be
completed over four years.
Canadian beekeepers are currently challenged with a variety of factors
impacting bee health that threaten not only the industry, but Canada's
ability to pollinate crops and produce food.
The project will document the distribution and intensity of known and
potential diseases, pests and parasites in Canada's commercial
beekeeping industry. This information is currently lacking, and is
needed to continue to explore science-based solutions to protect
Funding for the study will come from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's
AgriMarketing Program, an initiative under Growing Forward 2.
Additional funding partners include: CropLife Canada, the Alberta
Beekeepers Commission and the Manitoba Beekeepers Association.
"Our industry relies on pollinators for healthy crops. We are committed
to working with all stakeholders to further explore the factors
impacting bee health to come to science-based solutions so both
beekeeping and farming can thrive," says Pierre Petelle, vice-president
of chemistry at CropLife Canada.
"The Manitoba Beekeepers Association proudly supports this
initiative with the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. This represents a
necessary and proactive approach to ascertain a comprehensive and
national view of the overall health of the beekeeping industry which
affects all beekeepers, from the hobbyist to the largest commercial
businesses," says Allan Campbell, president, Manitoba Beekeepers
SOURCE: Alberta Beekeepers Commission
For further information:
President, Alberta Beekeepers Commission