Government of Canada invests in honey bee health to support beekeepers and grow blueberry sector in Atlantic Canada

News release

August 13, 2019 – Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, was joined by the Honourable Keith Colwell, the Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture, on a visit to Glenmore Farms in Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia, where they announced more than $800,000 in funding to support the health and productivity of the honey bee sector in Atlantic Canada to help pollinate wild blueberries in the region.

The project, led by the Atlantic Tech Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA), is taking a regional approach to honey bee research in order to meet the pollination demands of the wild blueberry industry in Atlantic Canada. The project will help improve honey bee colony health, monitor and manage pests and diseases, improve overwintering success and promote biosecurity techniques for the sector.

The Province of Nova Scotia is collaborating with the federal government and the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to provide more than $700,000 of the total project costs under the Pan-Atlantic Agriculture Project Partnership Initiative (PAPPI).

An additional investment of $125,000 is being made through the Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership that supports the collaboration of two or more provincial/territorial governments on projects to address shared priorities.

ATTTA was created in 2016 as a joint initiative focused on strengthening the region's honey bee population. This project is the next phase of a collaborative project that involved researching honeybee management information across the country to customize it for Atlantic Canada.


"The success of many of our agricultural crops depends on the health and productivity of our pollinators. Our Government is proud to support this regionally collaborative approach to strengthen Atlantic Canada's honey bee populations that play such a vital role in high-value crops such as wild blueberries."

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Improving the health of honey bees is important to Nova Scotians because it affects the prosperity of our agriculture industry. Our investment supports honey bee research, our food security as a province, and helps to keep farming strong."

- The Honourable Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture

"New Brunswick recognizes the importance of having a strong honey bee sector and was pleased to provide financial support through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership initiative. This project will help strengthen our honey bee sector through research and technology transfer and supports our crops which rely on pollination for enhanced productivity. Pan-Atlantic collaborative projects such as this benefit the entire region and focus work on priority areas as identified by stakeholders."

- The Honourable Ross Wetmore, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries

"I am pleased to join in this regional effort to support the health and productivity of the honey bee sector. In addition to the significant benefits to honey and blueberry producers, a strengthened bee population will benefit society as a whole."

- The Honourable Bloyce Thompson, Prince Edward Island Minister of Agriculture and Land

"Perennia's focus is transferring technology, sharing information and skills development. This is project that covers all those bases in two sectors that are key to the future success of Nova Scotia agriculture – beekeeping and wild blueberries. Having the apiarists as part of our team strengthens Perennia and allows us to support the project as the project team has access to all our specialists and professional services for all their needs."

- Lynne Godlien, CEO, Perennia

Quick facts

  • PAPPI was established by the four Atlantic provinces to encourage Atlantic Canadian collaboration for eligible projects under their cost-shared Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreements. Projects considered under PAPPI have mutual benefit in the region, leading to improved profitability, competitiveness and/or sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food industry in Atlantic Canada.

  • ATTTA is supported by Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc. Perennia is a provincially-owned development company that works with farmers, fishermen, processors and food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Services are offered in field services, quality and food safety and product development and commercialization.

  • In 2018, the farm gate value of Canadian blueberries was almost $244 million.

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada estimates that 81 percent of the total blueberry crop is linked to the delivery of honey bee pollination.

  • In 2018, Canadian wild blueberry exports accounted for about half of Canada's total fresh and frozen blueberry exports, which totaled $475 million, to 45 countries.

  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Associated links


Katie Hawkins
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
613-290-3896 (Cell)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Like us on Facebook: CanadianAgriculture

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: