Monday, 18 October 2010

Climate Change Hits Home (Video)

Latest Bee Loss Figures Show Canada Doing Better

by Larry Powell  

 The group representing beekeepers in this country says 21 percent of honey bee colonies in Canada were lost over the winter of 2009-10.

The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) says, of the 611,972 "over-wintered" colonies, 128,463 were dead or unproductive by spring. 

According to these latest CAPA figures, belatedly released just this past Friday, this represents 1.4x the long-term winter loss rate for Canada. 

The Association describes this as a substantial improvement over the previous three-year period during which losses averaged 32.6%.

CAPA credits beekeepers' effective use of mite control products in the improvement in colony losses. It adds, "extension professionals" also attribute such improvement to a new mite-control product called "Apivar," approved for use last fall.

CAPA tempers its optomitic message with this note of caution, however.

"Though encouraging, it is too early to determine whether this decline in mortality constitutes a sustained improvement in colony health."

Among the provinces, Nova Scotia recorded the highest losses, at 41.9%, while nearby Prince Edward Island had the lowest,  just 16.7%.

(My own province, Manitoba, lost 25.6% and the neighbouring province, Saskatchewan, 20.5%.)

One region of the country, Vancouver Island, however, recorded disastrous losses, way worse than the rest of the country. There, beekeepers lost up to 76% of their colonies! Some were wiped out, altogether!

CAPA notes that most beekeepers there used an anti-mite control which the mites may have developed resistance to.

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