By Donna McMillan
THE governments of Canada and Ontario have launched a new targeted beekeeper infusion to support and strengthen the health of managed honey bees and Ontario’s beekeeping sector, MPP Toby Barrett said in a statement release in spring 2021.
“This is a welcome help,” he said, noting that beekeepers will be able to apply for funding to support the health and business capacity of honey bees.
The announcement was good news for Kelly Moodie, president of the Haldimand-Norfolk Beekeepers Association.
Representing some 50 beekeepers in the area, Kelly told the Maple Leaf that “usually a lot of beehives don’t overwinter. They need to be replaced. Without bees there is no food.
Last winter, she shared, “Moodie Bees” survived with three of the 21 surviving hives. “The year before, with 57 beehives, we dated a couple,” she said. “We had to buy beehives from bigger beekeepers. “
She also noted that many bee losses in Norfolk are due to pesticide poisoning and crop spraying.
In addition, there is foulbrood, a fatal bacterial disease of honey bee brood, and Varroa mites that attack and feed on honey bees.
Besides the climate, Kelly also mentioned that bees are affected by noise pollution. She noted, for example, that 50 percent funding can help local beekeepers replace hives, wrap hives and insulate the tops of hives.
According to the press release, beekeepers will be able to apply for funding to support the health and business capacity of honey bees, including:
o Purchase equipment to prevent the introduction and spread of disease and increase winter survival of bees.
o Sampling and analysis of pests and diseases.
o Purchase of queens raised in the country to help build resilience.
o Business support to help beekeepers develop their business.
A new maximum will allow commercial beekeepers to receive up to $ 10,000 in cost-shared funding for those with 50 or more colonies. And, it will continue to offer cost-shared funding of up to $ 3,500 for operations with less than 50 colonies.
The Partnership includes a $ 2 billion commitment that is cost shared 60 percent at the federal level and 40 percent at the provincial level for programs designed and delivered by provinces and territories.
As part of the first targeted beekeeper injection, more than $ 550,000 has been invested in cost-shared funding for 350 projects for beekeepers with more than 20,000 beehives across the province, according to the press release.
When asked what local residents can do to help the bee population of Haldimand – Norfolk, Kelly suggested “don’t make your lawn so perfect.” Leave the dandelions. Cut your grass less. Look for natural ways to get rid of things (crushed eggshells for slugs). Try to stay as natural as possible.
And, if in doubt, the Haldimand – Norfolk Beekeepers Association is happy to answer questions from the public at [email protected]
Originally posted Jun 9, 2021