Ontario Leads Canada in Overwinter Bee Losses

On Saturday, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) reported that as many as 46 percent of Ontario honey bee colonies did not survive the winter. The CAPA survey is the official record of commercial beekeeper overwinter losses and showed Ontario beekeepers suffering the highest losses among all Canadian provinces. 

Ontario losses exceeded the Canadian average of 33 percent by almost 40 percent. Beekeepers surveyed mentioned the unusually long winter and weaker than normal colonies going into winter as well as Varroa mite loads as a causes of high losses. In Ontario, mite overloads are often associated with weakened hives due to pesticide exposure from the overuse of neonicotinoid pesticides on corn and soy crops. 

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association has asked the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, MPP, Ontario’s new Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, to review support programs to help beekeepers recover hive numbers in light of historically high losses. The OBA will also ask Minister Hardeman to move forward with better enforcement of Class 12 legislation to reduce the overuse of the neonicotinoid pesticides that are devastating honey bee colonies in many parts of Ontario. 

Read Full Release

CAPA Statement on Honey Bee Wintering Losses in Canada (2018) 

Media Release: May 14, 2018 Ontario Beekeepers Experience Overwhelming Losses  & Ontario Bee Loss Media Backgrounder 

EU Agrees Total Ban on Bee-harming Pesticides