Honey bees weather winter well

The winter of 2014 was a relatively good one for Central Alberta honey bees.

The winter of 2014 was a relatively good one for Central Alberta honey bees.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has released the results of its latest honey bee winterkill survey.

These indicate a mortality rate of 16.7 per cent for the area between Calgary and Edmonton — less than half the figure recorded for the previous winter.

The provincial average was 18.5 per cent, with the lowest rate in Southern Alberta at 15.1 per cent. The highest mortality rate was in the Peace River region, at 23.2 per cent.

“The surveyed beekeepers reported wintering 197,038 honey bee colonies and nuclei,’ says Medhat Nasr, an apiculturist with the department. “Overall, beekeepers reported that 18.5 per cent of Alberta bees died during the 2013-14 winter.”

Nasr said beekeepers who wintered full size bee colonies in British Colombia reported the lowest winterkill in recent years, at 10.5 per cent.

During the winter of 2013–14, a quarter of managed honey bee colonies died in Canada. The highest winterkill was 58 per cent in Ontario, with the rest of the provinces averaging 19.3 per cent. The lowest winterkill was reported in British Colombia, at 15 per cent.

“It was encouraging to hear that Quebec reported 18 per cent winterkill in 2014,” says Nasr. “This is the lowest reported winterkill in Quebec in comparison to previous years.

It is particularly remarkable that Alberta has decreased its bee winterkill rates by 50 per cent, going from 30 to 40 per cent from 2007 to 2010, down to 15 to 24 per cent in the last four years.

“Overall, the average winterkill in Alberta is 20 per cent in the past four years. The significant decrease in winterkill rates has been attributed to the use of Varroa mite control products and the adoption of effective bee surveillance and management systems.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Shots fired in Riverside Meadows

Red Deer RCMP search for more suspects

Driver in fatal crash acquitted

A 19-year-old Red Deer woman was killed and another injured in June 2012 crash west of Bowden

Royal close shave: Prince William opts for dramatic buzz cut

LONDON — The hair on the heir is no longer quite so… Continue reading

Border wall models thwart US commandos in tests

SAN DIEGO — Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President… Continue reading

Man charged in presumed deaths of two missing Toronto men set to appear in court

TORONTO — A man charged with first-degree murder in the presumed deaths… Continue reading

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month