Nfld. & Labrador

Sting operation: N.L. beekeeper sounds alarm after queen bee illegally imported by mail

Paul Dinn of Adelaide's Newfoundland Honey says while importing bees through the mail is common elsewhere, the practice is illegal in Newfoundland and Labrador to help keep the province's bee populations healthy.

Ban on importation helps keep population healthy, says Paul Dinn

Paul Dinn of Adelaide's Newfoundland Honey says illegal bee importation could damage the province's bee population, one of the healthiest populations in the world. (Submitted by Steve McBride)

A St. John's beekeeper is sharing the dangers of importing bees through the mail into Newfoundland and Labrador, as the provincial government launches an investigation into a queen bee being imported through Canada Post.

Paul Dinn, beekeeper and co-owner of Adelaide's Newfoundland Honey, said that while importing bees through the mail is common elsewhere in Canada, the practice is illegal in Newfoundland and Labrador in an effort to keep the province's bee populations healthy.

"Here in our province we have a very healthy bee population. We don't want to bring in any unwanted diseases or pests by accident," Dinn said.

"We don't have the rural mite or tracheal mite or greater wax moth, and we also don't have a whole slew of different diseases. We want to be very careful."

WATCH | Beekeeper Paul Dinn speaks with the CBC's Anthony Germain:

Who imported a rogue bee into N.L.?

6 months ago
Duration 3:29
Anthony Germain speaks with Paul Dinn about the illegal importation of a queen bee into Newfoundland and Labrador 3:29

The comments come after a report from the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture that says a queen bee was recently imported into the province through the mail. In a statement to CBC News on Wednesday, the department said an investigation into the matter is underway.

"Preventative measures for bee keepers is to always be monitoring the health of their colonies. They should also report to FFA any suspected illegal importations," reads the statement.

While Dinn said he believes the importation could be the result of a lack of understanding about the province's bees, N.L. residents who want to keep bees have options.

"We have lots of bees for sale if people want to get into bees. So if they can buy them locally, avoid bringing in something from outside the province, we'd really appreciate it," he said.

"Don't import bees. Don't bring them into the province, it could cause us to lose something very valuable and beautiful that we don't want to see gone."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Anthony Germain

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