Centre to focus on honey bee health
A new national laboratory will strengthen the honey bee industry and the food production industries that depend on them
Beaverlodge, Alta. – A new National Bee Diagnostic Centre is hoping to take the sting out of the dramatic drop in the world’s bee population.
Since 2007, bees have been disappearing in North America and Europe. Some reports say it was only honeybees at first, but then bumblebees began disappearing, too.
The National Bee Diagnostic Centre is a laboratory that will focus on:
• detecting and diagnosing the health of honey bees,
• providing scientific support to facilitate the importing and exporting of bees; and
• preventing or reducing losses.
It’s expected to perform approximately 1,500 diagnostic services each year for businesses and other clients.
The centre will be the only one of its kind in Canada that offers a wide range of comprehensive services to beekeeping businesses.
The Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Alberta Rural Development Fund and the Grande Prairie Regional College all provided funding to establish the centre.
The $2.2 million project includes a new building and diagnostic equipment.
Two members of the scientific team are already in place and the Grande Prairie Regional College is working on finalizing details as equipment is installed. Diagnostic services are expected to begin within the next few weeks.
The lab will be managed by Grande Prairie Regional College located at the Beaverlodge research farm of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.