Bee keeping in Newfoundland and Labrador has been growing in recent years. The Newfoundland and Labrador Bee Keeping Association (NLBKA) has played a key role in this development, advocating for and supporting bee keepers of all scales throughout the province. An important part of this work has been the annual Honey Bee Colony Health and Management Survey. The survey is entering its seventh year, and provides a valuable baseline on current colony health, beekeeping practices, habitat descriptors, and challenges in the province.
The NLBKA is a small, volunteer-run organization. They recognise the value of the data collected in the survey, and would like to see it managed and made available to researchers, but lack the resources to do so. They identified Grenfell Campus as a good home, both for the database and to conduct the yearly survey. This arrangement would have broad benefits: the NLBKA would be relieved of sole responsibility for the survey, the data would be broadly available for research purposes, there would be opportunities for student involvement in data management and survey administration, and analysis of the survey data would lead to insights to help bee keepers manage their bees in the challenging climate of the province.
In January 2023, there will be a large honey industry meeting in St John’s, attended by the Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists (CAPA), Canadian Honey Council (CHC), Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Perennia (Atlantic Tech Transfer Team of Apiculture; ATTTA), and the Newfoundland and Labrador Bee Keeping Association (NLBKA). This meeting will involve major national players in all aspects of apiculture. This is a prime opportunity to forge ties with larger, national bodies, and explore potential research collaborations. During the meeting, there will be a roundtable to discuss research priorities in NL, with a focus on developing a partnership between the NLBKA and Grenfell Campus to house and administer the annual survey. Involving researchers from other parts of Canada provides a variety of perspectives and experience which can inform our research needs here.
1) Develop an agreement for the Honey Bee Colony Health and Management Survey to be administered in collaboration with Grenfell Campus.
2) Identify research priorities for NL beekeepers.
3) Establish contacts with other academic honey bee researchers nationally.
Animal production and aquaculture