Researching for a better future!
Research is well underway with the funding received from Canadian
Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) with the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program (OBA-TTP) collecting and analyzing the data for a healthier honey bee population.
Guelph, Ontario (August 25, 2011) Les Eccles, the OBA-TTP Lead Specialist was quick to recognize his three main objectives in helping Ontario Beekeepers. Those objectives are clearly a need for improving queen honey bee quality and honey bee breeding selection, advancements in pest and disease management and in developing the best management of pollination colonies.
With funding received from the AAC, the OBA TTP will lead a respond to these ongoing issues, found to be of importance in order for beekeepers to adapt to, overcome and overall advance the future of their industry.
Honey bee genetics and bee husbandry has been identified as one of the most important factors to address the decline of honey bee numbers and maintaining honey bee health and performance. In developing a new and innovative formal “breeding program” the OBA-TTP would enable breeders to use information they record on queen quality to develop honey bee genetic lines needed by the industry. These preferred genetics will include longer lasting queens which are able to resist numerous diseases.
Management of pests is also a concern when developing a honey bee
breeding and management program. With the continual development of resistance in pests to registered treatments, research needs to be performed on new and existing treatments in order to specify the best methods of applying treatments so they can be used more effectively in an integrated pest management program (IPM). Research on primary pests in the beekeeping industry is placed at high priority for the beekeeping industry as it was found to be the number one cause of overwinter mortality in honey bees (Guzman, 2010).
Although honey bee genetics play an important role in colony health, the extra demand on colonies to perform pollination services has resulted in a need for better management practices in order to maintain pollination colony health. Investigating specific management of pollination colony nutrition and pest management is critical to ensure beekeepers providing these services have the tools they need to decrease stress on their colonies and provide the pollination service required by the agri-food sector.
Les Eccles, OBA-TTP Lead Specialist, will be working with his staff and will utilize the resources of the University of Guelph and the University of Manitoba to complete this study.
The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, established in 1881, is one of the oldest established farm organizations in Ontario. It is incorporated under the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act (1987).
Funding for this position is provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agriculture Adaption Council's CanAdvance Program.
For more information or media interviews, contact:
Ontario Beekeepers’ Association