PEI

Honeybees fared pretty well considering brutal winter

P.E.I.'s honeybee losses weren't that bad this year, despite the Island's long, snowy winter, according to a survey of beekeepers.

P.E.I.'s apiarist says hive losses were just slightly higher than Canadian average

P.E.I. didn't lose as many honey bee hives as it could have considering this year's bad winter.

P.E.I.'s honeybee losses weren't that bad this year, despite the Island's long, snowy winter, according to a survey of beekeepers.

Just under 18 per cent of hives on were lost, not far off the Canadian average of 16 per cent.              

"We seem to be settling out around that number. The ideal number is probably 15 per cent and we're a little bit higher than that," said Chris Jordan, the province's apiarist.

Ontario lost the most bees at 38 per cent, while Saskatchewan fared the best with only a 10 per cent loss.

Jordan has been holding workshops with beekeepers to continue to improve practices.

"Beekeepers are becoming more aware of pest management practices and just management in general of the bees, so they're learning more skills and way to cope with factors that are difficult to control for beekeepers."

Jordan also says the number of bees on P.E.I. is increasing. The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists shows number of hives up 37 per cent from 2013 to 2014.

Beekeepers said weather, starvation and weak colonies in the fall were the top three reasons for losses last season.

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