GFM Network News


beehive frame without honey

U.S. honey crop stung by climate change

Drought-weakened bee colonies shrink North American honey crop, threaten almonds and fruit Gackle, N.D. | Reuters — There was barely a buzz in the air as John Miller pried the lid off of a crate, one of several “bee boxes” stacked in eight neat piles beside a cattle-grazing pasture outside Gackle, North Dakota, about 150

An Asian giant hornet, trapped at Birch Bay, Wash. on July 14, 2020 by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) researchers, is seen at Olympia, Wash. on July 29, 2020. (Photo: WSDA/Chris Looney/handout via Reuters)

Washington state eradicates first ‘murder hornet’ nest of the year

Nest found in northwestern county near B.C. border

Reuters — Washington state eradicated its first Asian giant hornet nest of the year by vacuuming out 113 worker hornets and removing bark and decayed wood near the nest, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) officials said Thursday. The so-called stinging “murder hornets,” the world’s largest hornets, can grow to five centimetres in length and


The European honeybee, vital to pollination and the honey industry but not suitable for all crops such as seed alfalfa or some fruit or greenhouse crops.

A multitude of bees are your tireless workers

You might be surprised to find out just how much extra canola a few more pollinators can bring to your bins

Canola growers like what happens when they enlist hives of honeybees to help tend their crops. According to figures presented to the Manitoba Agronomist Conference earlier this winter by Melanie Dubois of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, pollination increases production by as much as 46 per cent. And the quality of the seed set is significantly

Ian Steppler accepts his award during the virtual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign conference on Oct. 20.

Manitoba beekeeper receives recognition for protecting pollinators

Ian Steppler uses a thriving YouTube channel and speaking engagements to share his philosophy

A Manitoba beekeeper has received national recognition for his work advocating for and protecting pollinators. Ian Steppler accepted the 2020 North America Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Farmer-Rancher Canada award for pollinator conservation during a virtual conference on October 20. “I’m quite flattered and really happy to be able to accept this award,” said Steppler who

Disappearing natural habitat threatens bees’ diet

Disappearing natural habitat threatens bees’ diet

Maintaining pockets of nature among cropland allows bees to thrive on a balanced diet, says beekeeper Ian Steppler

Cropland’s encroachment on nature threatens to starve bees and pollinators, beekeeper Ian Steppler told those at a Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference on December 4. “Where we find a balance within our countryside between agriculture and nature is where we find tremendous growth and prosperity,” Steppler said. Why it matters: Bees and other pollinators are


Kent Collins, recent graduate in Communications Engineering Technology at Assiniboine Community College, examines a beehive at 4K Honey.

High-tech hives

Beekeepers might get constant hive conditions at their fingertips once a student project out of Assiniboine Community College is fully developed

Kent Collins has a different idea of the ideal beehive — it involves a lot more wiring. Collins, along with his partner, Adam Lennox, are the minds behind the Bee Aware hive-monitoring system, a remote sensing system that promises real-time hive feedback to beekeepers. The project is the pinnacle, or “capstone project” of their study

Blooming rapeseed field at sunset

More debate yet to come on neonics

Health Canada has satisfied its concern with three neonicotinoid insecticides and pollinator risk, but a decision to protect aquatic insects may yet take those chemistries off the table

Health Canada’s April decisions on three neonicotinoid insecticides won’t change much for growers this year — but it also won’t be the last word on the subject. Producers will still have access to most imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam uses following the April 11 ruling. In 2016, the federal government announced plans to phase out imidacloprid

“PMRA’s re-evaluation decision confirms that in the vast majority of cases, neonics can be used effectively by farmers without unnecessary risk to pollinators.” – Pierre Petelle, CropLife Canada

No new major neonic restrictions: Health Canada

Existing restrictions remain, but they won’t be expanded for the foreseeable future

No new changes are coming to the use of neonicotinoids in Canada. There will be no new significant restrictions beyond those announced last year, Health Canada said April 10 in its final decision on its review of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiameth­oxam. The department said it will proceed with cancelling some uses of the products and


Pollinator study looks for producer buy-in

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

Without a viable alternative to clothianidin and thiamethoxam, the Canola Council of Canada feels “the ban will significantly impact the canola sector.”

Agri-food sector gearing up for neonic consultations

Government says it will listen to concerns about lack of useful alternatives to neonics

Farm groups are readying for battle over the federal government’s proposal to phase out more neonicotinoid pesticides. They’ve signalled their intention to grill Health Canada and the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) over their plans to eliminate the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxam over the next three to five years because they pose a threat