Honey producers put colonies away in good shape, but found them wanting this spring.  |  File photo

Cold spring hammers bees

Last fall Simon Lalonde had around 3,200 bee hives and things were looking good when the colonies were put away for the winter. By late April about 1,300 of those hives were dead or had too few bees to survive as a colony. “We had about a 41 percent (winter) loss…. That’s about double our […] Read more

Source of bacterial disease in Peace region bees a mystery

GIROUXVILLE, Alta. — Bees in the Peace region are facing a new problem that has researchers looking for answers. Carlos Castillo, an applied scientist and manager at the National Bee Diagnostic Centre in Beaverlodge, Alta., has been delving into what’s believed to be an increase of European foulbrood in the region. European foulbrood is a […] Read more

Lack of rain reduced honey yields in some areas but a beekeeper in northwestern Manitoba reaped 300 pounds per hive.  |  Getty image

Northern Prairies beat south for honey production

This year’s drought in parts of Western Canada hurt honey production, but beekeepers in more northerly regions had a good to excellent honey crop. For example, producers in southern Alberta had a poor year but yields were better north of Calgary. “Everybody is pretty happy with their crop … for the majority,” said Mike DeJong, […] Read more


Most veterinarians in Canada don’t have the knowledge or training to write prescriptions for bees, said Rod Scarlett, executive director of the Canadian Honey Council.
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Looming antimicrobial rules will be tough on beekeepers

Few Canadian veterinarians are able to write antibiotic prescriptions for bees, which could affect hive health

A list of antimicrobials given to livestock will be available next year only with a prescription. Canadian farmers who raise cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry are gearing up for the change, but the beekeeping industry isn’t ready for the new rules. That’s because most veterinarians in Canada don’t have the knowledge or training to write […] Read more

This year's drought in parts of Western Canada hurt honey production, but beekeepers in more northerly regions had a good to excellent honey crop. | File photo

Honey production better in north than south this year

This year’s drought in parts of Western Canada hurt honey production, but beekeepers in more northerly regions had a good to excellent honey crop. For example, producers in southern Alberta had a poor year but yields were better north of Calgary. “Everybody is pretty happy with their crop … for the majority,” said Mike DeJong, […] Read more


It's difficult to estimate how many vets in Canada are qualified to treat bees, but the number could be less than a dozen. | File photo

Looming antimicrobial rules will be tough on beekeepers

A list of antimicrobials given to livestock will be available next year only with a prescription. Canadian farmers who raise cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry are gearing up for the change, but the beekeeping industry isn’t ready for the new rules. That’s because most veterinarians in Canada don’t have the knowledge or training to write […] Read more

Beekeepers in Canada and the U.S. have noticed that “queens don’t tend to last as long as they used to.”  |  Getty photo

Poor quality queens focus of colony loss

For a long time, Canadian beekeepers have said that varroa mites are their number one problem and the main cause of bee colony failure. Not this year. In 2017, beekeepers have said that poor quality queens are the primary factor for bee colony loss. “The most frequently cited causes in order from high to low […] Read more

In its annual report, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) said Aug. 21 that bee colony losses in Canada were 25.1 percent for the winter of 2016-17. The national winter loss in 2015-16 was 16.8 percent.
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Winter colony losses up

Bee colony losses were higher in Canada this year, partly because April was a cold and snowy month on the Prairies. In its annual report, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) said Aug. 21 that bee colony losses in Canada were 25.1 percent for the winter of 2016-17. (PDF format) The national winter loss […] Read more


In a paper published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, University of Tennessee scientists found that bees that foraged on farmland thrived, and bees that foraged on non-farmland struggled. | File photo

Bees thrive on farmland: study

A recent study has determined that cropland benefits bees. In a paper published in the Journal of Economic Entomology (PDF format), University of Tennessee scientists, including lead author Mohamed Alburaki, compared beehives located in agricultural land to bee colonies in non-farming areas. They found that bees that foraged on farmland thrived, and bees that foraged […] Read more

The University of Manitoba offers a non-credit beekeeping course every winter and for the last three years it’s been packed with students. In fact, overflowing. | File photo

Bee population decline sees beekeeper boom

Beekeeping is now cool. Well, maybe not cool, but it could be more popular than ever in Canada. The University of Manitoba offers a non-credit beekeeping course every winter and for the last three years it’s been packed with students. In fact, overflowing. Rob Currie, a U of M entomologist and a course instructors, said […] Read more