In addition to producing honey, Ontario-managed honey bees pollinate a wide range of crops, including apples, apricots, asparagus, blueberries and squash. They account for $395 million in pollination services to Ontario farmers.
Since September 2019, the federal and provincial governments have committed more than $221,000 to support 135 projects. These projects will help Ontario beekeepers make improvements to better manage pests, diseases and other stressors and grow their bee-related business. Factoring in project funding coming from the businesses themselves, this represents a joint investment of more than $602,000 in the sector.
The funding has been provided through a targeted application intake under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Eligible applications are being received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.
Some projects supported through this targeted intake include:
- Equipment to help managed honey bees survive over the winter months
- Projects to detect and manage pests such as varroa mites
- Technology to enhance production
- Equipment to prepare operations for managing Small Hive Beetle
- Market and customer research to help increase sales
The health of honey bees is complex and influenced by several factors, including diseases, pests, genetics, environmental stressors and extreme weather.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Rural Affairs January 13, 2020 news release