The Current

Beekeepers abuzz over breeding honey bees for Canadian environment

There's a lot of buzz these days on breeding a Canadian honey bee. Scientists are creating world-leading genomic tools for honey bees that will allow beekeepers to selectively breed bees to survive Canadian winters, parasites and viruses.
A group of Canadian scientists are launching a project this week to address the problems bee colonies are facing due to Canada's harsh winters and to adapt to our specific parasites and diseases. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Last week, we spoke with bee whisperer Mark Winston, a biology professor at Simon Fraser University and author of the award winning book "Bee Time: Lessons From The Hive".

And as Mark Winston mentioned on the program, bees are a consequence of how we manage the world, but adds we can do something about it.

Well, a group of Canadian scientists is in-fact launching a project this week to try to do something about the problem of bee colony loss.

York University's Amro Zayed and UBC's Leonard Foster want to give beekeepers the tools to develop a Canadian honey bee. A hardy specimen best adapted to our specific parasites and disease, as well as our harsh winters.

Amro Zayed is an associate professor in the department of biology at York University. We reached him in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.