GFM Network News


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


By getting rid of trees and obstacles in fields,

Bees cannot live on canola and alfalfa alone

‘Agriculture blooms for one month a year’ and so maintaining pockets of natural food sources is critical

Cropland’s encroachment on nature threatens to starve bees and pollinators, says beekeeper Ian Steppler. “Where we find a balance within our countryside between agriculture and nature is where we find tremendous growth and prosperity,” said Steppler, a crops and cattle producer in Manitoba who has 1,500 hives and produces over 250,000 pounds of honey per […] 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


Flow Hive co-creator Stuart Anderson (flanked by MacEwan sustainability director Kalen Pilkington and beekeeper Troy Donovan) checks
out his creation on the roof of one of the university’s downtown buildings.

You can’t beat the view from these beehives

Flow Hives became an internet sensation and are now a fixture on a downtown Edmonton rooftop

Bees that have called the rooftop of one of MacEwan University’s buildings home since 2016 recently received a special visitor — the architect of their unusual hives. Australian Stuart Anderson, co-creator of the Flow Hive, dropped by the building in downtown Edmonton to see how the urban pollinators like his creation. Anderson and son Cedar […] Read more

Neonic-treated canola not an ‘unacceptable risk’ for pollinators

Already facing federally mandated phase-outs from many major on-farm uses in Canada over risks to aquatic insects, neonicotinoids aren’t expected to pose “unacceptable risks” to pollinators when used on canola seed or hothouse vegetables in the meantime. Health Canada said as much Thursday as it released its final re-evaluation decisions for three neonic pesticides — […] 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

EU nations back ban on all outdoor neonic use

Brussels | Reuters — European Union countries backed a proposal on Friday to ban all use outdoors of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown can harm bees. The ban, championed by environmental activists, covers the use of three active substances — imidacloprid, developed by Bayer CropScience; clothianidin, developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and […] Read more


Two neonics set for three-year extensions on registration

Health Canada’s pesticide regulator proposes to allow continued registration for two members of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides, both of which are under heavy scrutiny for their effects on bees and other pollinators. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency on Tuesday issued proposed decisions on clothianidin and thiamethoxam that would extend the products’ existing conditional registrations […] 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