Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program has been approved for funding from the Agriculture Adaptation Council
GUELPH, ON (February 14, 2012) – Today the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program (OBA-TTP) is pleased to announce the approval of funding for a two year study regarding the infection levels of Nosema disease (N.ceranae and N. apis) as well as its relationship with colony mortality, bee mortality and economic losses in apiaries. N. ceranae and N. apis are fungi that damage the digestive cells of a bee so that they cannot digest nutrients and basically starve to death.
This project is aimed at determining the infection patterns and relationship of Nosema disease with bee mortality. An estimate of the economic damage of these parasitic fungi will be obtained; and new natural medications, aimed at boosting the immune system of bees will be tested.
The OBA Technology Transfer Program will lead this project, and extensively utilize the expertise and technology resources of Dr. Ernesto Guzman at the University of Guelph. Dr. Ernesto Guzman is a collaborator in the Managed Pollinators group of NSERC-CANPOLIN (the Canadian Pollination Initiative).
OBA President, John Van Alten stated that “The Ontario Beekeepers Association is pleased to see this research carried out and in particular the collaboration with Dr. Guzman’s lab at the University of Guelph.
We feel this is important work which will shed some light on why beekeepers are experiencing extremely high winter mortality in their livestock. We hope that this collaboration will lead to future joint projects to benefit beekeeping in Ontario.”
Honeybees are by far the most beneficial insects to human societies. They not only produce honey and other hive products, but they are also the most valuable pollinators of crops; their pollinating activity accounts for one third of the food produced (McGregor 1976). Thus, maintaining their populations and good health is of vital importance for agriculture and for the adequate pollination of wild plant species.
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 further information, please contact:
Nancy Comber, Promotions/Media Coordinator
Ontario Beekeepers’ Association
Mobile: (416) 908-9852 Office: (905) 636-0661