Supporting Alberta’s beekeepers during COVID-19
In response to the recent challenges faced by Alberta’s beekeepers, Agriculture and Forestry is introducing a new Canadian Agricultural Partnership program.
The program will include up to $1 million to help beekeepers offset the costs of increased colony replacements due to COVID-19. The program, available this summer, will be retroactive to cover issues faced in spring 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made importing colony replacements from usual, more affordable sources like New Zealand and Australia more difficult.
Program details are still being developed. Producers are encouraged to subscribe to Alberta’s Canadian Agricultural Partnership site, where information will be shared as it becomes available.
“Beekeepers not only help pollinate important crops across Alberta, they make delicious honey products. They have a crucial role in Alberta’s agriculture sector, which is why we are committed to supporting beekeepers with an investment of up to $1 million. This new program will keep our bee industry competitive after this difficult year.” Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
“As our primary pollinators, the importance of bees to our agriculture sector cannot be overstated. This collaborative investment will help Alberta’s beekeepers continue their vital work and keep their operations strong.” Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“The Alberta Beekeepers Commission is very pleased with the support of the Ministry during this challenging and exceptional time. The commission is grateful for all the hard work and vision to creating a sustainable future for beekeepers by the minister and ministry staff in the development of this new CAP program.” Jeremy Olthof, president, Alberta Beekeepers Commission
Alberta is the largest producer of honey in Canada, producing 41 million pounds annually and contributing $67 million to the economy.
The program will support 168 commercial beekeepers in Alberta and will help the sector adapt to emerging challenges and overcome over-wintering losses in a COVID-19 environment.
It is anticipated that the $1-million program will be able to support about 13,000 replacement colonies.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector.
Provincial Press Release June 5, 2020 @ 1:33 PM