GFM Network News


Manitoba’s beekeepers say they saw less winterkill this year, despite frigid temperatures.

Beekeepers dodge winter loss woes

Initial reports hint at good winter survival for Manitoba’s bees

Manitoba’s frigid start to 2019 did little to phase the honey industry. The Manitoba Beekeepers Association says most of its members reported good winter survival rates, with the exception of some parts of the Interlake. Why it matters: Manitoba’s honey sector took a hit on winter survival last year, but this year’s numbers look more

Wild bees like this aren’t exactly like honeybees when it comes to how they react to pesticides in the environment.

Wild bees need stronger pesticide regulation

Pesticide regulations designed to protect honeybees fail to account for potential health threats to the full diversity of bee species that are even more important pollinators

Pesticide regulations designed to protect honeybees fail to account for potential health threats posed to other, even more important pollinators, according to a trio of research papers from the University of Guelph. As the global human population grows, and as pollinators continue to suffer declines caused by everything from habitat loss to pathogens, regulators need


Pollinator study looks for producer buy-in

A University of Manitoba researcher is looking for land to measure the impact of pollinator strips

Jason Gibbs of the University of Manitoba wants to know more about how pollinator strips impact the field, and he’s hoping local producers will help him. The professor of entomology has put the call out for producers willing to volunteer about one acre for pollinator habitat. Gibbs plans to plant a strip of flowering plants

Scott Lavich’s first-year Operation Pollinator site remains short after dry conditions this year.

Pollinator program faces down farm realities

Operation Pollinator providers say they are still fine tuning the recipe for success when bringing their program to the field

Scott Lavich was already sold on supporting pollinator habitat before he signed on with Syngenta Canada’s Operation Pollinator last year. The Riding Mountain-area producer already had both interest and experience in on-farm conservation, making him a perfect fit for the program, which offers up to two acres worth of pollinator-friendly seed mix and financial support

VIDEO: Bees “bee-have” to form bee beard

Ian Steppler, who runs the honey production part of Steppler Farms, ‘grew’ a bee beard with the help of his assistant, Carrie Martindale, to the delight of 117 beekeepers attending an event put on in co-operation with the Manitoba Beekeepers Association. Video footage recorded June 16, 2018 at Steppler Farms, near Deerwood, Man. Video editing


Manitoba honey producers are pleased they’ll be exempted from labelling standards aimed at unhealthy foods.

Health Canada relents on honey label

No alert about sugar content as the regulator recognizes honey as a sweetener

Canada’s beekeepers are expressing relief after Health Canada last week exempted honey from proposed new mandatory rules for nutritional food package labels. The regulations, if approved, will require pre-packaged products to carry warning labels if they exceed recommended thresholds for sugar, sodium and saturated fat. Food products containing more than 15 per cent of the

Health Canada proposes some neonic restrictions

Health Canada is proposing some restrictions on the use of three neonic pesticides for horticultural production but they would still be registered for use on field crops such as corn and soybeans. Meanwhile the department will continue working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California on the impact of the pesticides

Attendees of an Aug. 30 field tour at the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives site north of Brandon explore pollinator-friendly seed mix, including a swath of 
purple blooming phacelia.

Pollinator seed mixes tailor made

Just like cattle and hogs benefit from the right rations, bees can benefit from the right mix of flowering plants

What’s good for the bumblebee may not be good for the honeybee. That was the message as the Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives dug into pollinator-friendly seed mixes Aug. 30 during its Brookdale site field tour. “You want to have something that’s going to grow and, depending on how much time they have, legumes in


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

Purple prairie clover is just one in a long list of native species on rangelands that have ‘co-evolved’ with native pollinators.

You want pollinators to make their home on your range

There is a buzz on range-and pasture lands. And we really need to pay attention to native pollinators and the benefits that they provide, says a rangeland ecologist. “Pollinators are critical to rangelands themselves, and the plants that are there,” said Cameron Carlyle, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, who is not only