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Provincial project aims to protect honeybee health

Funding available to help commercial apiarists bolster business

A buzz is building around the province's newest program to help honeybees.

Starting on June 21, eligible Ontario beekeepers can apply to receive funds for cost-share projects that support honeybee health and business capacity.

An initiative of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, apiarists must have 10 colonies or more and be registered with the Provincial Apiarist to qualify.

Commercial beekeepers can receive up to $10,000 in cost-share funding, while operations with fewer than 50 colonies can receive up to $3,500.

Eligible projects include: 

  • the purchase equipment to prevent the introduction and spread of disease and increase overwinter survival of bees;
  • sampling and analysis for pests and diseases to increase adoption of integrated pest management and other best management practices;
  • the purchase of domestically raised queens to assist in building the resilience of the industry; and
  • business supports to help beekeepers grow their business.

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"This targeted bee health intake will provide beekeepers in Ontario the opportunity to address biosecurity risks in their operations,” said Melanie Kempers, general manager of the Ontario Beekeepers' Association, in a June 2 news release.

“Ontario is home to many beekeepers, from those who manage a few colonies to those who keep bees commercially. No matter the size of the operation, the importance of bee health is vital and these funding opportunities are key to support health and sustainability for Ontario’s beekeeping industry.”

This marks the second intake for this program. The first rolled out in September 2019.