The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association (OBA), Technology Transfer Program (TTP) was established in the early 1990’s by Dr. Medhat Nasr. The mandate of the TTP is to conduct research for Ontario’s beekeeping industry, to facilitate a honey bee breeding program in Ontario and to transfer information, skills and methodologies to the beekeepers.
The OBA Tech-Transfer Program is unique because it operates directly for the beekeepers of Ontario, focusing on issues which are of importance to them. Base funding is received from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The beekeepers also donate funds for research and additional funding is sought from agencies such as the Agricultural Adaptation Council. The focus is developing a current Integrated Pest Management approach to beekeeping. A large component of this is the breeding program. Tech-Transfer also tests a variety of treatments for the control of varroa mites. The goal is to be pro-active and to limit the number of treatments that must be applied to the bee hive each year.
The current TTP research crew, Les Eccles, Melanie Kempers, Devan Rawn and Brian Lacey are based in Guelph. Collaborators include the Provincial Apiarist, the University of Guelph and co-operating beekeepers. The OBA TTP includes an advisory committee of Pat Westlake (Business Admin), Dan Davidson (OBA President) and Paul Kozak (Provincial Apiarist).
Educational, hands-on workshops are conducted every spring by the Tech-Transfer Program, at various locations in the province. Introductory Beekeeping, Integrated Pest Management & Beekeeping and Introductory Queen Rearing are the current workshops being conducted.
The results of the work by the OBA TTP is presented at the annual OBA meetings, to local beekeepers associations within Ontario, to other beekeeper associations in Canada and the US, and to school and community groups with an interest in honey bees.
Beekeeper donations help keep the program active. Monies received from the industry and interested public are used to show support (and are double, tripled and even quadrupled by funding agencies) for the various projects that TTP apply for and administer. The Tech-Transfer Program appreciates your support!