Feds help bee industry battle decline in colony populations in Saskatchewan

The federal government is helping beekeepers in Saskatchewan keep their industry buzzing.

SASKATOON — The federal government is helping beekeepers in Saskatchewan keep their industry buzzing.

Calvin Parsons, president of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Association, says the $370,000 will go towards scientific research to develop new strategies to respond to a decline in honey bee colony populations.

This program will evaluate existing disease control methods and adapt these to suit Saskatchewan-specific climatic conditions and beekeeping seasons.

Suitable tools will be incorporated in a management program that will reduce colony mortality, increase honey production and improve profitability for beekeepers.

Allen Kuhlmann, chair of the Agriculture Council of Saskatchewan, says bee colony mortality is a serious issue that affects all segments of the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Over the past four years, beekeepers in Saskatchewan have been losing high numbers of honey bee colonies due to disease, pest resistance to treatment methods, and increased demand on honey bee colonies to provide pollination services.