Industry News and Events

Posted:Tue, Mar 28th, 2017 11:07:06 am

Nova Scotia Bee Industry Under Threat

The Nova Scotia Beekeepers' Association (NSBA) believes the beekeeping industry is under threat by a government decision to import unnecessary honey bee colonies from an area of Canada with a known pest that is not present in the Province.

The NSBA has learned an importation permit will be issued for one truckload of bees. This would add an insignificant quantity of pollinators that could easily be provided by local beekeepers. In previous years the importation of honey bee colonies has been necessary to supplement the number of hives here in the province to pollinate wild blueberry fields. Due to the historic low market price for blueberries and therefore a drop in demand for hives, Nova Scotia beekeepers can provide all of the hives required for 2017 pollination. This importation is completely unnecessary and would put the entire beekeeping sector at risk of Small Hive Beetle infestation.

Through the support of the government initiated Pollination Expansion Program, government and beekeepers have invested to expand their hive numbers to 28000 in an effort to meet the demand for hives to pollinate blueberry fields. In 2016, only 24000 hives were used in Nova Scotia and in 2017 the number of hives required is projected to be significantly less. Nova Scotia hives, paid for in part by the Pollination Expansion Program for the purpose of having enough colonies in Nova Scotia for pollination, will go unrented to make way for hives from Ontario.

Additional Facts:

• Ontario is the only region in Canada to have an established population of Small Hive Beetles. The rest of Canada is Small Hive Beetle free.

• In 5 years, the Pollination Expansion Program has invested $900,000 in the beekeeping industry, with similar investment incurred by Nova Scotia beekeepers.

• The Pollination Expansion Program has been extended to 2017-2018 and the application period is now closed.

2016 Letter to the Minister

2017 Letter to Minister Colwell