Feds fund honeybee surveillance project

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has announced funding of $1 million to the Beekeepers Commission of Alberta to initiate a four-year national surveillance project to document the health profile of honeybee colonies in Canada.

An Agriculture Canada release said the aim of the project is to record the nature, extent and prevalence of diseases, pest organisms and chemical residues in Canadian apiaries. It said that to date, surveillance of this nature has been done at the regional level, and the sector is seeking to expand co-ordination and identify national commonalities on bee health.

Beekeepers Commission of Alberta president Grant Hicks said in the release that “This project, which will benefit the Canadian beekeeping industry, will document the distribution and intensity of known and potential diseases, pests and parasites in Canada’s commercial beekeeping industry, and where this information is required to further science-based solutions.”

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