BC announces extra $50K in funding for bee health

BC announces extra $50K in funding for bee health

File photo (CBC)

The province has announced additional funding for their BeeBC program, which looks to develop new and innovative ways to help honey bees.

The Ministry of Agriculture will provide an additional $50,000, which beekeepers can apply for access to. BeeBC provides support to research, explore, field-test and share information about best management practices associated with bee health.

“A healthy population of honey bees and native pollinators in B.C. not only provides us with delicious locally-sourced honey, it supports our environment as well as our agriculture industry, so that British Columbians will have more B.C. products at their tables, now and for generations to come,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.

The ministry says projects range from educational programs and hands-on experience for youth to studying queen bees and disease management in hives by local beekeepers.

The announcement was made by Popham at the 2018 B.C. Honey Producers Association (BCHPA) annual general meeting in Victoria, which runs from Friday to Sunday.

The initial funding for the program was announced on the “Day of the Honey Bee” in May. So far 11 projects are underway around B.C.

Also announced was the expansion of the Province’s apiary inspection team. The East Kootenay region will soon have its own bee inspector assigned to the area to improve efficiency and responsiveness to bee-related service requests.

The ministry says this, as well as two new inspectors hired last spring, makes the current team the largest and most comprehensive apiary inspection service the Apiculture Program has ever had in B.C.

“Pollination services from beekeepers increases the value of crops in B.C. by hundreds of millions of dollars a year,” said Kerry Clark, president of the BCHPA in a statement.

“The annual funding to the BCHPA that the minister had already announced enabled research designed to address critical bee health issues. This announcement today adds even more opportunity for a range of local honey bee related projects in communities throughout B.C.”

In 2017 $25,000 in funding was committed to supporting research work on bee health and pollination, and in May $100,000 in funding was added to the BeeBC program.

The initiative comes as global Honey Bee populations are in decline, resulting from multiple factors such as pesticide use and habitat destruction.

More information on the program can be found here.



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