GFM Network News


A queen bumblebee collects floral resources for her nest.

Environmental threats put bumblebee queens under pressure

Insecticide exposure and declining floral diversity are jeopardizing key pollinator group

Spring is a busy time for bumblebee queens. After emerging from hibernation, their to-do list includes making nests, laying eggs, and keeping their larvae warm and fed. It’s physiologically demanding, and the stakes are high: the success of the colony depends on a queen. In a recent study, researchers at the University of California Riverside […] Read more

Richard Ozero of Good Morning Honey shows some of his equipment during a media event aimed at encouraging more producers to participate in Alberta Open Farm Days.

Open Farm Days a sweet deal for everyone, says new participant

Honey producers meet lots of their customers at farmers’ markets but are excited about hosting farm visitors

Richard and Amber Ozero have never been part of Open Farm Days before — but can’t wait to participate this year. Operators of any sort of farm are being encouraged to sign up for the Aug. 18-19 event, and for the Ozeros, it was an opportunity to introduce their honey business to a new audience. […] Read more


Purple prairie clover is just one in a long list of native species on Alberta’s rangelands that have 
‘co-evolved’ with native pollinators.

You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There are scores of native pollinators in Alberta — and the more you have on your rangeland, the better

There is a buzz on range- and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not […] Read more

A focus on improved management has allowed Alberta beekeepers to put the “dark days” of massive winterkill behind them, says provincial apiculturist Medhat Nasr.

A close call averted for Alberta beekeepers

A decade ago, winterkill was up to 40 per cent annually — a rate that could have ravaged the beekeeping sector

The good news is Alberta’s bee populations are currently strong and healthy. The deeper story is just how close the province came to losing this priceless resource. Medhat Nasr, provincial apiculturist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, has been closely involved in the challenges and comeback of the province’s bees in recent years. “Over the past […] Read more


Luke Wonneck, agroforestry technician with the Alberta Woodlot and Extension Society, describes the newly created eco-buffer at the Edmonton Corn Maze in Parkland County.

Want to keep pollinators and beneficial species on your land? Build an eco-buffer

Edmonton Corn Maze is showcasing an eco-buffer — a community 
of trees and plants that provide a host of benefits for farms

If you build an eco-buffer, beneficial species will come. An eco-buffer is a planned community of trees, plants, and herbaceous species that provide pollinator and wildlife habitat, shelter for livestock, nutrient cycling, and groundwater recharge. A newly created eco-buffer, designed as part of an ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) project, will soon demonstrate its value […] Read more

Alberta is home to nearly half of the honeybee colonies in Canada.

Alberta honeybees are busy — but not well understood

Researcher says there’s a lot to learn about how honeybees could be used to further boost canola yields

Having bees around your canola field might be good for your yield, but the exact details of how and why are not known yet. That’s where people like Shelley Hoover, apiculture researcher with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in Lethbridge, comes in. Hoover’s research deals with bee health, bee pollination, and the impacts bees have on […] Read more


Bumblebees and other wild bees offer significant pollination value compared to honeybees and leafcutter bees.

Wild bees can boost your yields

FarmTech: There’s an estimated 300 species of wild bees in Alberta, and they can’t be beat as pollinators

Wild bees buzzing around your field can give you a bigger bang for your buck than honeybees or leafcutter bees. That’s because they actually do a better job of pollinating, said bee specialist Ralph Cartar. “Our whole world is built around managed bees and using honeybees as best we can, but in fact, the most […] Read more

Medhat Nasr receives honours

Provincial apiculturist Medhat Nasr was recently given the Roger A. Morse Outstanding Teaching/Extension Service/Regulatory Award. The award committee cited Medhat’s two decades of research, teaching and extension work with the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Rutgers University, and, for the past 13 years, in Alberta. “I would personally like to thank you for sharing your work with […] Read more


Uploaded pics of diseased honeybees will boost pest surveillance.

App offers instant link to bee disease info

The free app will be enhanced to allow picture uploads, 
and that will boost the bee pest surveillance database

Alberta beekeepers will have better access to bee disease and treatment information through a new mobile app developed by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The free app for iPhone and Android is an easy-to-use tool that will link beekeepers to pictures and current information about pests, diseases and recommended management practices. “Our province has one of […] Read more