GFM Network News


Asian giant hornets have noticeably large orange heads and black eyes; worker hornets are about 3.5 cm in length; queens can be up to four to five cm in length, with a wingspan of four to seven cm. (B.C. Ministry of Agriculture)

‘Murder hornet’ findings worry agriculture officials

Invasive pest known to decapitate honeybees, take over hives

Reuters — The Asian giant hornet — an invasive, predatory insect dubbed the “murder hornet” — has been seen in the Vancouver area and may pose a threat to the beekeeping industry and potentially to people if it establishes there, a U.S. official said Monday. The stinging Vespa mandarinia can grow as large as 2-1/2

Lady beetle making a meal out of aphids.

Participants wanted for on-farm study of flowering habitats

Study will look at impact of flowering habitats for pollinators, natural enemies of pests

Pollinators and natural enemies of pests may improve the health of agroecosystems. Have you considered practices to enhance them on your farm? If so, we want to partner with you for an on-farm project. Project Establish flowering plants at crop field margins to determine if this habitat increases crop productivity by increasing pollinators and natural


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

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

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

This summer will be the first producers across Western Canada can access free seed for pollinator-friendly plants through Operation Pollinator.

Bringing back flowers to the field

Operation Pollinator is asking producers to set aside two acres for pollinator-attracting plants this summer

An initiative to increase biodiversity and pollinator habitat on golf courses is making its large-scale farm debut this summer. Operation Pollinator, spearheaded by Syngenta, was introduced in Canada in 2012 after first appearing in the United Kingdom over a decade ago. The program first approached golf courses, providing seed for out-of-play areas to be planted

How to create an inviting butterfly garden

How to create an inviting butterfly garden

With a little planning you can create an area to attract these pollinators

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species in North America but the numbers of monarchs have decreased significantly over the last 20 years. Why is this butterfly so important? Monarch butterflies act as pollinators. They act as natural pest control, playing an important role in their food cycle — acting as prey


Melanie Dubois, an AAFC senior riparian and biodiversity biologist at the Brandon Research and Development Centre, displays some of the native bees she’s collected in her research into their habitat requirements.

Pollinator support program coming to Manitoba this summer

The North America-wide initiative between General Mills and the Xerces Society aims to establish 3,000 acres of pollinator habitat in Manitoba 
by 2021. The program will host demo workshops here this summer

Native bees play a crucial role in a healthy environment but they need our help. That’s the message an Agriculture Canada staffer had for farmers and other rural landowners meeting here earlier this month. Melanie Dubois is a senior riparian and biodiversity biologist, based at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Brandon Research and Development Centre, who

The rusty patched bumblebee is noted for the bright-brown patch on its abdomen.

U.S. lists first bumblebee species as endangered

The species is just one of 47 in the U.S. and Canada, a quarter of which are considered at risk of extinction

The rusty patched bumblebee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once familiar to much of North America, was listed Jan. 10 as an endangered species, becoming the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain such federal protection. One of several species facing sharp declines, the bumblebee known to scientists as Bombus affinis has