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Governments Support Manitoba Beekeepers

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing more than $210,000 to monitor and improve the health of the province’s bee colonies, with the goal of supporting the long-term sustainability of commercial and hobby beekeepers.
"Manitoba’s beekeepers know how critical it is to understand the health of their bees and implement best management practices to reduce losses, while still working to meet consumer demand for locally grown honey,” said Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “This investment will help ensure our beekeeping sector has the knowledge and tools they need to continue to adapt and thrive.”
Governments are investing more than $210,000 from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association in establishing a new Knowledge Research Transfer Program (KRTP).
The program will help provide beekeepers with better risk management tools and techniques to improve efficiency and increase production.
It will also:
- develop a bee health monitoring service, which will use sentinel hives to share knowledge on overall health and integrated pest management;
- establish stronger connections with veterinarians to manage bee health risks associated with bacterial diseases; and
- identify best management practices to help reduce annual winter losses and share this information with beekeepers through training sessions.
“The KRTP will work with beekeepers to help monitor their pests and develop better strategies for dealing with disease,” said Mark Friesen, chair, Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association. “The ability to have beekeepers utilize the information generated from the KRTP will benefit the public as well as industry. Bees play a vital role in ecology as well as pollinating field crops. The benefit of a healthy bee industry is manifold."
Through its focus on bee health, the KRTP is expected to help the industry continue to provide a safe, quality product to local, Canadian and international markets.
There are more than 900 beekeepers and 120,000 colonies in Manitoba, responsible for about $40 million annually in honey production. These bee colonies also produce an additional estimated $120 million in added value to crops that benefit from honey bee pollination.
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