Tag Archives: Canada

Agriculture Canada Funds Project to Help Beekeepers


The Government of Canada is investing more than $244,000 in the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association with the aim of helping the beekeeping industry find new ways to respond to a decline in honey bee colony populations, Agriculture Canada announced 29 June 2011.  Funding for this project is being provided by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). In Ontario, CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC).

The project aims to help beekeepers secure sustainable honey harvests and provide essential pollination services to the fruit and vegetable industry.

Approximately 7,000 beekeepers in Canada operate a total of 600,000 colonies of honeybees, according to the Honey Council’s statistics on the Canadian apiculture industry, with approximately 475,000 colonies in the prairie provinces that produce 80% of Canada’s honey crop. Funding of this new project reflects Agriculture Canada’s recognition of the ecological and economic impacst of declining bee populations “due to disease, pest resistance to treatment methods, and increased demand on honey bee colonies to provide pollination services.”   The estimated value of honey bees to crop pollination in Canada is over $2 billion.

honey bee pollinates apple blossom“The partnership formed between the AAC, and Ontario Beekeepers Association will ensure beekeepers are able to manage genetics, pests and nutrition according to their business objectives,” said Les Eccles, OBA Tech Transfer Program Lead Specialist. “Providing management strategies specific to the beekeepers goals will give more sustainable and consistent results.”

Led by the universities of Guelph and Manitoba, the program will develop a breeding program that will result in honey bees that have the ability to resist pests and diseases. It will also screen new products for pest and disease control and develop best management practices relating to pollination colonies.  Ultimately, the project will provide beekeepers — not only in Ontario, but, through knowledge transfer, all across Canada — with the ability to have better control of colony genetics and health in order to have consistent honey production and pollination services.

Photo:  Bee with Apple Blossom by Flickr user sociotard

2011 Maritime Bee Tour Agenda

This year’s Maritime Bee Tour will be hosted by the Nova Scotia Beekeepers’ Association, held in the Truro are on the weekend of  22-23 July 2011.

You’ll find information on registration, accomodation and meals in our previous Bee Tour announcement ; and now here is the agenda.  Check out the program of events for this exciting weekend — and especially, check out those great Guest Speakers!

 

2011 Maritime Bee Tour Agenda

Friday, July 22, 2011
6:30 pm             Registration at Jenkins Hall, NSAC

7:00 pm             Guest Speakers:

8:00 pm             Participant Reception with finger food and cash bar
Saturday, July 23, 2011
6:30 – 8:30 am             Buffet Breakfast at Jenkins Hall, NSAC

8:30 am             Bus will depart to visit points of interest in the Maitland area:

12:30 pm             Lunch at Paul and Lori Kittilsen’s in Debert

1:30 pm             Tour of the Kittilsen’s cranberry bog and beekeeping facilities

2:00 pm             Optional tour of the Masstown Market for those not who are not bee inclined

3:30 pm             Bus will depart for return to NSAC

5:00 pm             Pre-banquet social at Jenkins Hall, NSAC

6:00 – 7:30 pm             Banquet at Jenkins Hall

7:30 – 9:30 pm             Presentation by Dr. Ernesto Guzman “Stemming honeybee loss”

For more information or to register for the 2011 Maritime Bee Tour, please contact Shelly MacKenzie at the Agri-Commodity Management Association 902-893-7455 or smackenzie@nsfa-fane.ca.

 

2011 Maritime Bee Tour – You’re Invited!

Every summer after the main honey flow eases up, beekeepers in the Maritimes Provinces of Canada get together for a social and educational weekend known as the “Bee Tour” of the Maritimes Beekeepers Association. Well, it’s that time again – and you’re invited!

2011 Maritime Bee Tour

Hosted by: Nova Scotia Beekeepers’ Association
Where: Truro, Nova Scotia
When: 22-23 July 2011

Cost to register is $65 and will include all receptions, meals and tours. Participants will be responsible for their own accommodations.

Registration forms may be downloaded here (DOC or PDF), or contact Shelly MacKenzie at the Agri-Commodity Management Association 902-893-7455 or smackenzie@nsfa-fane.ca to register or for more information.

Accomodations

A block of 20 rooms has been reserved at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College’s Fraser Hall. Single rooms are available for $37.32 (inc. HST) and double rooms for $49.00.  To reserve a room at the NSAC, please call Caitlyn Dixon at 902-893-4122.  Deadline for booking is 9 July 2011 and can be paid for with cash, debit or credit card upon arrival.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Best Western Glengarry (Willow Street, Truro) at a reduced rate of $116.  To receive the tour rate, these rooms must be booked by 2 July 2011 by calling 1-800-567-4276; a credit card will be required and you must state you are with the “Maritime Beekeepers.”

Agenda

The full Agenda for the 2011 Maritime Bee Tour will be posted on the CBA website very shortly.

Banquet Menu

When registering, please make sure to indicate your meal choice. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the Tour organizers know in advance so they can make appropriate arrangements.

Starter

Fresh Mixed Mesculin Salad with Garden Herb Vinaigette

Main Course

Option #1

Chicken Cordon Bleu stuffed with Black Forrest Ham and Cheese served on a Bed of White Wine Mushroom Sauce with wild rice and Steamed Fresh Broccoli.
Served with Fresh Baked White and Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls and Butter.

Option #2

Top Sirloin Atlantic Roast Beef with Jost Red wine au Jus served with Garlic Roasted Potatoes, Sour Cream and Fresh Vegetable Medley.
Served with Fresh Baked White and Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls and Butter.

Dessert

New York Style Cheesecake with Oxford Blueberry Topping with Whipped Cream.
Freshly Brewed Columbian Coffee and Orange Pekoe Tea

For more information or to register for the 2011 Maritime Bee Tour, please contact Shelly MacKenzie at the Agri-Commodity Management Association 902-893-7455 or smackenzie@nsfa-fane.ca.

SENB Beekeepers’ Field Day 18 June 2011

Southeast New Brunswick Beekeeper’s Association will be holding a field day on Saturday, 18 June 2011 — rain or shine. Registration and coffee will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Salisbury Baptist Church, Main Street, Salisbury, New Brunswick.  If weather permits, the afternoon session will take place at the Country Fields/ Dore Honey apiary in Upper Coverdale, hosted by George and Ruth Wheatley.

Here’s the event notice from organizer Ann Vautour, President of SENB, below:

Southeast New Brunswick Beekeeper’s Association will be holding a Field day, Saturday, June 18th. Registration and coffee will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Salisbury Baptist Church, Main Street, Salisbury, N.B.

All beekeeper’s are welcome and we will have a very interesting and fun program for the day. This day will mainly be directed to helping new beekeepers or those who have been in beekeeping a short time. We will also have events for the more seasoned beekeepers. Everyone is welcome to attend!

I have invited two beekeepers from Nova Scotia, Tony Phillipps and Jerry Draheim to share their beekeeping knowledge with us and our Chief Apiary Inspector, Fletcher Colpitts and Mary Colpitts will also be there to answer any bee health questions you may have. We will have a indoor session early morning at the church and then we will move to George and Ruth Wheatley’s apiary where hives will be opened and analyzed. The ability to open a hive with experienced beekeepers is such a valuable opportunity to learn.

Please bring your lunch with you! Beverages and sweets will be supplied. If you don’t want to bring lunch, there is a Pizza place close to the church in Salisbury. Please bring your lawn chairs, bee jackets etc. There will be a $10 registration fee for non members.

If you think you want to become a beekeeper, come out and enjoy the experience. If you wish additional information, email me (evangelinemiel@hotmail.com) or phone me at (506) 388-5127.

The full field day Agenda (PDF format) is available via Country Fields Beekeeping Supplies website.

Beekeeper Responds to Health Canada “Anti-Honey Campaign”

In this submitted article, New Brunswick beekeeper Richard Duplain responds to recent warnings from Health Canada about  infant botulism as an effect of toxins in honey, as well as an implied connection between honey and allergies due to pollen.

Health Canada advises against using Honey

Letter to the Editor or Commentary

Recently Health Canada embarked on a campaign it feels could protect infant children from clostridium botulinum in honey. Clostridium or C botulinum is a nerve toxin that in certain circumstances can cause severe paralytic illness. Beekeepers across Canada believe the campaign will only hurt their diminutive yet flourishing industry.

Beekeepers across Canada feel Health Canada has stung them where bee veils don’t extend.

First we had colony collapse to deal with and now we have common sense collapse in Ottawa. Beekeepers across Canada feel Health Canada has stung them where bee veils don’t extend.

Imagery and text in the campaign suggests honey is not a suitable product for consumers of all ages. It creates a sense of alarm in the consumer’s mind and goes on to inflame the until proven otherwise concocted notion by mentioning recalls and allergy alerts. Beekeepers are worried this will result in a drop in demand for nature’s perfect food and irreparable harm to the Canadian honey industry.

The Canadian Honey Council, the umbrella organization representing thousands of beekeepers across the country took the issue to both the department and minister but to no avail. As a result, the CHC initiated a letter writing campaign in a bid to put an end to Health Canada’s anti-honey campaign.

Most recent statistics put the number of honey producing beekeepers in Canada in 2009 at 6,728. There were 575,676 honey producing bee hives and they produced 64 million pounds or 29,000 tonnes of honey worth more than $100 million.

In New Brunswick the same year there were 180 beekeepers with 2,700 colonies that produced 189,000 pounds or 86 tonnes of honey worth $378,000.

Together Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contributed 874,000 lbs or 397 tonnes of honey worth $1,748,000 to the Canadian economy.

Displaying a honey bear bottle with a circle and slash through it with no valid explanation portrays Canadian honey consumers as naive and producers as uneducated incompetent members of society, few in number and an easy target as scapegoats for a department’s capricious nature.

According to the government department less than five per cent of Canadian honey contains small amounts of C botulinum spores. However, even small amounts can cause infant botulism in a baby, which is why health professionals advise against giving honey to children under one year old.

Neither the Minister of Health nor Health Canada provides any supporting evidence to buttress the false contentions asserted or suggested in the campaign.

Health Canada says infant botulism is caused by a food-poisoning bacterium called C botulinum. When swallowed, spores of this bacterium grow and produce poison in an infant’s intestines. C botulinum spores can be found in soil and dust. Honey is the only food linked to infant botulism in Canada.

Neither the Minister of Health nor Health Canada provides any supporting evidence to buttress the false contentions asserted or suggested in the campaign.

There are two primary types of honey on the Canadian market. The first and best is raw unpasteurized honey and the second is low-quality pasteurized honey. To understand the pasteurizing process is to understand how C botulinum spores can survive in some honey.

Normally honey destroys bacteria by drawing fluids from them by osmotic force and through its acidity. Strained or unstrained raw honey contains an enzyme – glucose oxidase which catalyses a reaction that produces hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria. Doctors and hospitals around the world are using honey dilutions as an effective antimicrobial and antibacterial agent. However, this enzyme is destroyed by heat like that used in the pasteurizing process. The very destruction of this enzyme may allow bacterial like C botulinum to flourish. Also killed in the pasteurizing process is up to 50 per cent of the honey’s original vitamin content.

A cursory reading of modern and historical texts shows us that for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years raw honey was fed to infants. Honey helped the child digest calcium and retain magnesium.

More than 30 years ago the Scientific Board of the California Medical Association said the safety of honey for older persons with normal intestinal physiology remains unquestioned.

Health Canada implies a connection between honey and allergies. Honey is made by honeybees after gathering nectar. The nectar undergoes certain changes in the bee’s hypopharyngeal glands. There enzymes convert the sucrose in the nectar to the simple easily assimilated sugars glucose and fructose. A fermentation period follows and what we know as honey with more than 80 vitamins and minerals and trace amounts of bee pollen is the result.

There are two types of pollen, anemophile or wind carried and the heavier entomophile. Anemophile pollens are the ones directly related to pollen allergies. Honey bees collect the heavier entomophile pollens. They do not cause allergic reactions and in fact are used to treat a number of allergy conditions.

Canadian beekeepers want to see the research studies… Until such time as this evidence is produced, we respectfully request the current anti-honey campaign be discontinued.

Canadian beekeepers want to see the research studies that Health Canada says less than five per cent of Canadian honey contains small amounts of C botulinum spores. We want to see the research evidence that honey is not a healthy food for seniors and babies and we want to see the research evidence that honey is the only food linked to infant botulism in Canada. Until such time as this evidence is produced, we respectfully request the current anti-honey campaign be discontinued.

Richard Duplain
70 Mary Ellen Drive, Hanwell, N.B. E3E 2G4
1-506-450-2129

If you’d like to weigh in on this discussion, we’ve opened a thread in “The Buzz” section of the Bee Talk Forum for the topic – or you’re welcome to respond in the comments section on this post, below.

NB Agriculture Website is Updated, Better for Beekeepers

The New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries has launched a major update to its website. Beyond a clean new look, the revised website makes it easier to find information published by the department, including forms and regulations. For beekeepers, there is a separate page all about bees, which serves as a “one-stop shop” for beekeeping information.

So far, in addition to information about alfalfa leafcutter bees and the native bumblebees that pollinate blueberries, and sidebar links to NBDAAF programs, agricultural research, events and maps, the Bees page on the government website contains:

  • a link to the beekeeper registration form that all New Brunswick beekeepers are required by law to complete each year;
  • information on evaluating, managing and protecting honeybee hives; and
  • under the Integrated Pest Management heading , information on the control of varroa mites.

Visitors can enter the main NBDAAF website at http://www.gnb.ca/0027/index-e.asp, the Agriculture division at http://www.gnb.ca/0027/Agr/index-e.asp, or the dedicated section on bees at http://www.gnb.ca/0027/Agr/0013/index-e.asp.