GFM Network News


Beekeepers get increased support

The Alberta Beekeeper Stock Replacement Program is being expanded and extended. The $1-million government program helps beekeepers offset increased colony replacement costs by ensuring any queens purchased between April 1 and Sept. 30 will be eligible for funding, and by extending the submission deadline to Jan. 29. Many of the province’s beekeepers saw substantial losses […] Read more

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 […] Read more


More ‘murder hornets’ found in B.C., Washington

Findings suggest some were able to overwinter

Reuters/Staff — Officials in British Columbia and Washington state have confirmed new sightings of the Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” indicating the invasive, predatory insect survived the winter in the Vancouver area and U.S. Pacific Northwest. The stinging hornet, whose queens can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches in length, could potentially pose […] Read more

Some beekeepers may see delays in their honey season this year as seasonal workers arrive later than usual.

Decision on temporary foreign workers a boost for Alberta beekeepers

Beekeepers rely heavily on seasonal agricultural workers and would have had to downsize without them

The federal government’s decision to allow seasonal agricultural workers into the country is good news for Alberta’s beekeepers. The ag sector had feared border closures would keep out these workers and devastate sectors such as fruit and vegetable production. But Canadian beekeepers also rely on temporary foreign workers — about 1,500 are hired each year […] Read more


This summer was bad for bees because they fly — and forage — less when the weather is cool. Many Alberta beekeepers are reporting their honey production is down by half this year.

Cool weather, price drop hits Alberta honey producers

A poor honey crop and low prices spell bad times for the province’s beekeepers

This summer’s cool weather didn’t just have a negative impact on grain crops — it meant honeybees weren’t flying. And that has some commercial beekeepers in the province facing a dire economic situation. Most producers have substantially lower honey yields this year, said Connie Phillips, executive director of the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. That was borne […] Read more

More than 140,000 seed packets have been given out through the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er initiative.

Bees benefit from 4-H Canada pollinator program

It’s been another banner year for the the Proud to Bee a 4-H’er initiative. The 2018 edition of the program saw 135 4-H clubs from across the country participating and about 15,000 seed packets distributed. “It is wonderful each year to see the level of excitement and engagement our members have with this initiative,” said […] 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

A book on raising bees is one of Alberta Agriculture’s suggestions for a stocking stuffer this Christmas.

Christmas gift suggestions for green thumbs (and bee lovers)

A comprehensive how-to guide might be an ideal gift for someone keen on gardening, beekeeping, or starting a sideline enterprise

Know someone interested in commercial production? These Alberta Agriculture and Forestry books might be a perfect gift. Commercial Vegetable Production on the Prairies ($20 plus GST): A comprehensive 300-page resource and reference tool suitable for new and experienced vegetable growers at all scales of commercial production. Key topics included planning for vegetable production, seeding, transplanting, […] Read more


Operation Pollinator encourages producers to set aside one or two marginal acres for pollinator habitat.

Producers encouraged to create pollinator habitat

A program that helps producers create pollinator habitat and refuges is coming to Alberta. To enrol in the Operation Pollinator program, producers agree to convert one to two acres of lower-productivity land to establish a pollinator habitat. In exchange for dedicating the land, producers receive a provision of high-quality, pollinator-friendly wildflower seed, agronomic advice, and […] Read more

The Beekeeping Cost of Production Survey looks at costs and returns to generate benchmark data and business performance indicators such as Return to Equity.

Province updating survey on beekeeping costs and returns

The four-decade-old survey is periodically updated to give producers benchmark data

The province is conducting its latest survey on the cost of production for beekeeping in Alberta. “The main purpose of the 2016 Beekeeping Cost of Production Survey is to monitor the current costs and returns of beekeeping in Alberta,” said Emmanuel Laate, senior crop economist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We have periodically monitored the […] Read more