Beekeepers in Ontario ‘Need More Money’

The head of the Ontario Beekeepers Association has dismissed a new financial support initiative as insufficient as he voiced concerns about food security.

Officials in the east-central Canadian province recently revealed that apiarists could apply for up to CDN 25,000 (EUR 17,000, GBP 14,500).

The Ontarian authorities cooperated with the federal government to establish the Honey Bee Health Initiative. The project is supposed to help beekeepers to stop hive diseases by purchasing state-of-the-art equipment.

Now the president of the local union of apiarists issued an appeal for more financial support.

Illustrative image of bees, undated. (NewsX/Bee)

Ian Grant told broadcaster CBC: “There are a lot of stressors in the industry. We need more money, frankly, to do the research and to develop new processes and best management techniques to help control what we’re seeing.”

The retired Royal Canadian Navy satellite technology expert and his wife have been beekeeping in the small town of Constance Bay near Ottawa since 2016.

Ian emphasised: “Over one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees.”

He explained: “If you don’t have the bees to do that work, you’re not going to have the quality of food and you’re not going to have the availability of food.”

The Baybees Honey co-chief concluded: “That comes down to food safety and security here in the province.”

The Ontarian government is convinced their Honey Bee Health Initiative would be of great help to local apiarists.

The measure – which has an overall volume of CDN 1.3 million (EUR 884,000, GBP 755,000) – allows anyone in charge of fewer than 50 honeybee hives to apply for subsidies of CDN 4,500 (EUR 3,060, GBP 2,610).

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said the pollinators and apiarists were playing “a vital role in the production and diversity of high-value agricultural crops in Ontario.”

The Liberal Party of Canada politician argued: “Through this initiative, beekeepers will be able to access tools specific to their unique needs so they can continue building successful and sustainable beekeeping operations.”

In 2021, around 13,100 people engaged in beekeeping all across Canada. More than 3,200 of them were based in Ontario.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *