PMRA Launches Studies Of Beekeepers’ Pesticide Needs

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The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is conducting two national programs in 2009 and 2010 to help understand the treatment practices of commercial and hobby beekeepers, says Andrea Sawatzky of the PMRA office in Calgary.

The first study is the Beekeepers’ Outreach study and the second examines the use of the mite control product Apivar in colonies, Sawatzky told the Alberta Beekeepers Commission Annual General meeting

The Beekeepers’ Outreach Program is designed to help PMRA understand the needs of the beekeeping industry and its pesticide use. The study will also help the PMRA identify any region-specific compliance issues and recommendations.

Beekeepers who participate in the program will be required to fill out a questionnaire which will focus on overwintering, survival and pesticide use. The program will be finished on March 31, 2010 and results will be summarized and released in a public document. Individual beekeepers and their companies will not be identified in the results, said Sawatzky. Instead, trends will be identified by percentages.

The second study will monitor compliance with how Apivar is used on hives.

“We want to make sure you are following label directions. As you all know, when you have a new chemical come in, resistance will build up,” she said. The PMRA is also interested in finding out the impacts of Apivar application dates. Beekeepers will be selected randomly from 2009 Apivar sales information. Beekeepers will be randomly called and some will be visited by the provincial inspectors.

This project will also be completed by March 31, 2010 and the results will be available to the public.

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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