Greenhouse Canada

Winter took a toll on Canada’s honey bees

July 23, 2014  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

July 23, 2014, Canada – This winter was a harsh one for Canada's honey bee population, according
to data compiled by the Canadian Association of Professional
Apiculturists (CAPA).

During the winter of 2013/14, the country's honey bee colonies experienced an average winter mortality loss of 25 per cent. This is considerably higher than the 15 per cent loss beekeepers deem acceptable.

Winter loss levels varied widely across the country, and even within regions, from beekeeper to beekeeper.


Ontario experienced the worst losses, with 58 per cent of the provinces 100,000 wintered colonies reported dead or to weak to be commercially viable come spring. With Ontario's losses  removed from the national calculation, the mortality rate drops to 19.2 per cent – still higher than the acceptable 15 per cent mark.

New Brunswick (26 per cent), Manitoba (24 per cent) and Nova Scotia (23 per cent) also experienced big losses over the winter.

The only province not to exceed a 15 per cent loss was British Columbia.

CAPA cited weather, disease and pesticides as likely culprits behind the heavy losses experienced across the country.

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