Beekeepers to get $1 million for replacement colonies

In response to the recent challenges faced by Alberta’s beekeepers, the provincial Agriculture Ministry is introducing a new Canadian Agricultural Partnership program.

The program will include up to $1 million to help beekeepers offset the costs of increased colony replacements due to COVID-19. The program, available this summer, will be retroactive to cover issues faced in spring.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made importing colony replacements from usual, more affordable sources like New Zealand and Australia more difficult.

It is anticipated that the funding will be able to support about 13,000 replacement colonies for the province’s 168 commercial beekeepers.

“This new program will keep our bee industry competitive after this difficult year,” said Jeremy Olthof, president of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission.

Program details are still being developed, but will be posted at cap.alberta.ca as they become available.

Alberta is the largest producer of honey in Canada, producing 41 million pounds annually and contributing $67 million to the economy.

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