GFM Network News


Manitoba Beekeepers expect reduced production

Fewer workers, interruptions to supply chains to blame

Honey production capacity is likely to drop by 10 to 20 per cent this year due to various COVID-19-related issues. “A lot of beekeepers are planning to run less bees this year based on diminished capacity for labour,” said Mark Friesen, chair of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association. Border closures and airline shutdowns related to COVID-19

Kon and Julie Paseschnikoff are excited about the pending release of their first bottling of mead this year.

First bee-to-bottle meadery to open soon in Manitoba

‘Bee Boyzz’ couple raise a glass to the sweet things in life

Manitoba’s first ‘bee-to-bottle’ meadery will launch this fall, with hopes that the sweet honey wine will bring people together. “I want people, when they’re sitting at the table, I want to make sure that Bee Boyzz brought them to the table,” said Kon Paseschnikoff. “When you make mead, you make people happy.” Kon and Julie


Chris Kirouac of Beeproject Apiaries demonstrates honey extraction at 
Red River College.

Rooftop hives educating college

Red River College continues to grow its urban apiaries with sweet results

It’s all about the honey — sort of. Red River College has expanded its urban beekeeping project in partnership with Beeproject Apiaries, adding three new rooftop beehives on the school’s Notre Dame Campus. But Beeproject founder Chris Kirouac said the expansion is about far more than honey production. “The honey is really a secondary bonus

Beekeeping is catching on in cities, and enrolment has jumped for a University of Manitoba course for hobby beekeepers.

Training critical for new beekeepers to avoid disease woes

Beekeepers stress the need for industry newcomers to be trained in disease and pest management

Manitoba’s honeybee population has recovered from 2013, when a harsh winter saw hives drop almost eight per cent, but commercial apiarists say that growth could have risks if it doesn’t come with disease management training for new beekeepers. “Education is very important in those regards and I think probably one of our largest concerns is

App sounds sweet to honey producers’ group

Beekeepers say the BeeConnected app has positive possibilities for their industry, but it’s going to depend a lot on uptake

A smartphone app imported from Australia might be the next big tool for beekeepers to manage their sometimes complicated relationship with surrounding farmers. BeeConnected, an app piloted in Manitoba last year and about to make its full-scale national debut, looks to facilitate communication between beekeepers and pesticide users. The app for Apple and Android allows


Bee health creating a buzz

The bee industry wants to see government support for ongoing research to continue

While bee health has received a lot of attention in Canada in recent years, it’s not time to stop learning about them, says the head of the Canadian Honey Council. Kevin Nixon, the organization’s president, told the Senate agriculture committee there’s still plenty to learn about bees and what’s causing overwintering losses and how various

Bee deaths are often attributed to just one source — pesticides — but experts say a lot more could be at play.

Bee die-offs from multiple causes

Experts and bee industry representatives say 
the story’s been presented one dimensionally 
by many in the media

Habitat loss, poor beekeeping practices and pesticides are among the biggest challenges facing bee populations, experts have told the Commons agriculture committee. Chris Cutler, an associate professor in the department of environmental sciences at Dalhousie University and also a beekeeper, said another challenge is a lack of information on wild bees, which are vital to

Bee deaths have been in the headlines recently, with pesticides being tagged for some of the blame. A new app co-sponsored by CropLife Canada and the Canadian Honey Council aims to prevent them.

App promises better communication between farmers and beekeepers

Developed in Australia, BeeConnected will aid co-ordination between farmers and beekeepers and keep bees healthy

CropLife Canada and the Canadian Honey Council are teaming up to bring an app to Canada that promises to help bees and crop agriculture coexist. BeeConnected was developed by CropLife Australia and the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, to allow farmers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to collaborate, anonymously, to facilitate best practices to protect pollinators.


Waldemar Damert stands next to honeybees during the Honey Show, held each year at The Forks Market in Winnipeg.

Bee swarms cut into honey production

Fear not the swarm! Honeybee swarms don’t pose a risk to humans, but can hamper honey production

Some Manitoba beekeepers have seen honey production drop this summer as hot, humid weather increased the number of hives that split due to swarms. “It’s usually the humidity and the higher temperatures that make the bees and the hives feel hot, the same way that we do,” said Waldemar Damert, president of the Red River

Bee deaths are often attributed to just one source — pesticides — but experts say a lot more could be at play.

Shorter winter favours honeybees

Some high overwintering losses may be attributed to inexperience and not the winter weather

While it’s too early to know for certain, this year’s shorter winter has all the hallmarks of overwintering success for Manitoba beekeepers. “I would expect good overwintering success,” said Allan Campbell, president of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association, adding that winter is a key factor for Prairie apiarists. “The winter conditions, I expect that to make