By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
Ontario announced that it will give one-time monetary assistance to beekeepers who have experienced significant bee loss during the harsh winter months.
Beekeepers who have 10 hives or more and lose over 40 per cent of their colonies between Jan. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2014 will be eligible for funding. The province has pledged to compensate $105 per hive. For now, the funding is a one-time deal and it is unknown if the province will consider offering similar packages in the future.
“We want to keep honey bee colonies strong going into the growing season while we continue working with the industry to support long-term sustainability for beekeepers and the health of all pollinators,” Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food said in a release.
In the same release, the Ontario Beekeepers Association suggests that bee loss is a result of the long winter and “inappropriate use of neonicotinoid pesticides.”
According to the government release, there are approximately three thousand registered beekeepers that manage about 10,000 bee colonies in the province.
In order to qualify, beekeepers must fill out an application form.
Eligibility criteria includes:
• In addition to having at least 10 hives or more, the hives must be registered with Provincial Apiarist.
• Have more than 40 per cent bee loss.
• Have an Agricorp and Premises deification number
• Provide proof through an attestation stating that they have followed best beekeeping practices and that the deaths are not a result of other factors (i.e. wildlife, vandalism, intentional death or negligence).
The province says forms will be available by May 16, 2014.