Beekeepers warn of local problems

Thunder Bay Beekeepers produce local honey
Thunder Bay Beekeepers warn of impending problem for local bees

THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Beekeepers Association is holding an information booth at the Thunder Bay Country Market on Saturday, June 1stto celebrate Day of the Honeybee.

Beekeepers – The bees are in trouble

For much of the past 10 years beekeepers, primarily in the United States and Europe, have been reporting annual hive losses of 30 percent or higher, substantially more than is considered normal or sustainable. But according to the Ontario Bee Association, this winter  “many …. beekeepers experienced losses of 40 to 50 percent or more…”  At a recent meeting of the Thunder Bay Beekeepers Association, substantial losses were reported in some bee yards.

What’s happening to the pollinators?

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs “virtually all corn seed” is treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide, which could pose a threat to the health of honey bees. “Neonicotinoid contaminated dust” is eventually carried into the air and could be linked to the death of thousands of bees.

The chemicals meant to kill bugs will also kill bees.

In addition, for the first time ever, the Thunder Bay district bee yards have become infected with the Varroa Destructor mite.  The Varroa Mite is a parasite that weakens the bees and reduces the colonys’ ability to survive through winter.  In an attempt to stop the spread of the mites, which have to date been identified throughout the Slate River Valley, Thunder Bay Beekeepers’ Association members with non-infected hives are offering to replace, for free, any infected hives that are destroyed by the beekeeper.

Why are the bees important?

One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest.  More than just honey that comes from a honeybee.

A threat to the honeybee is a threat to us all.

For more information on the Thunder Bay Beekeepers Association please go to our website:

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