2015 Provincial Apiarist report now available


Varroa destructor mites

While varroa is widely distributed across the province, the low degree of infestation may confirm the success that some beekeepers have had with the management of varroa mites. Across the province, 5,883 colonies were inspected for varroa using a standard alcohol wash and 851 of those were found to be positive. Among commercial operations (those having 50 or more colonies), the mean varroa infestation was below treatment thresholds and ranged from 0.48 per cent in May to 0.59 per cent in October. The mean varroa infestation was below recommended treatment thresholds at all sampling dates.

The degree of varroa infestation among small-scale operations (those having 49 or fewer colonies) was variable, ranging from 0.27 per cent in June to 4.53 per cent in October (Fig. 1). The mean varroa infestation was above recommended treatment thresholds in April, September and October and below treatment thresholds in May, June, July and August.


The overall overwinter honey bee loss for the winter of 2014-2015 was reported to be 38 per cent, which is lower than the 58 per cent reported during the winter of 2013-2014. In 2015, approximately 32,000 honey bee colonies where shipped outside of Ontario for the pollination of cranberry and blue- berry crops in Eastern Canada. The ministry engaged in regular and targeted inspections for the presence of an invasive pest, the small hive beetle (SHB). SHB was identified in 25 bee yards in the County of Niagara and all honey bee colonies and associated equipment have been detained in these yards. The SHB Quarantine Area (Essex County and part of Chatham-Kent County) remains in place.