GFM Network News


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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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


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

Reading Time: < 1 minute 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

Study of bumblebee decline points to climate ‘vise’

A study of the shrinking range of bumblebee habitat suggests farmers relying on those species to pollinate crops may soon have to look elsewhere, barring a reversal of climate change — or, perhaps, an “assisted migration.” An international study of specimens from 31 species of bumblebees in North America and 36 such species in Europe, as […] Read more



Pesticides could lead to ‘pollination deficit,’ EU report says

Brussels | Reuters –– Evidence is mounting that widely-used pesticides harm moths, butterflies and birds as well as bees, adding to concerns crop production could be hit by a shortage of pollinators, according to a report drawn up for EU policymakers. The European Commission, the EU executive, placed restrictions on three neonicotinoid pesticides from Dec. […] Read more


Takota Coen (pictured) and parents Michael and Laura have been honoured for their creating pollinator habitats on their farm near Ferintosh.

Alberta farm receives national pollinator award

Grass Roots Family Farm near Ferintosh has diversified into agroforestry

Reading Time: < 1 minute Grass Roots Family Farm is the 2014 recipient of the Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Award, which recognizes the contributions farmers make towards protecting pollinators and pollinator habitats. The 250-acre farm near Ferintosh, south of Camrose, is operated by Michael, Laura and Takota Coen. The Coens have been practising sustainable farming since the late 1980s, with son […] Read more

Survival of the fittest key to developing new variety

Reading Time: < 1 minute Plant breeders usually look at huge numbers of plants when searching for particular traits. But Agriculture Canada research scientist Surya Acharya took a survival-of-the-fittest approach to finding a hardy and competitive sainfoin variety for alfalfa-sainfoin pastures. He transplanted plugs of seedlings into pure alfalfa stands, and used those that thrived to create the new Mountainview […] Read more