Improving competitiveness for Alberta beekeepers
October 30, 2020 - Edmonton, Alberta - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The governments of Canada and Alberta are expanding and extending the Alberta Beekeeper Stock Replacement Program, providing even more support to the province’s beekeepers.
Now accepting applications, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership program will help Alberta’s beekeepers offset increased colony replacement costs by ensuring any queens purchased between April 1 and Sept. 30 will be eligible for funding, and by extending the submission deadline to Jan. 29, 2021.
Last winter, many of the province’s beekeepers saw substantial winter losses in their colonies, forcing them to split their colonies and introduce new queens. These amendments will help them with the costs of purchasing those new queens.
Alberta is the largest producer of honey in Canada, and this program will help ensure our beekeepers are able to mitigate the impacts of a difficult year and the barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth.
“As primary pollinators, bees play a critical role in the success of many of our agricultural crops. The expanded program will help ensure Alberta’s beekeepers can continue this important work, and keep their operations strong during this difficult year.”
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Bees are incredibly important for Alberta crop and hay land. Alberta is the largest honey producer in Canada and these program changes will help diversify and strengthen our agriculture sector.”
- Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
"As a beekeeper and an elected representative for an area with significant apiculture, I have seen firsthand how challenging recent years have been for our producers. Today's announcement is an important and positive step towards preserving the industry and the economic opportunity it creates for all of Alberta."
- Todd Loewen, MLA for Central Peace-Notley
“The commission is grateful for the minister’s and ministry staff's continuing support. The expansion of the Beekeepers Stock Replacement grant to include queen bees will further support Alberta's beekeepers in building a stronger, more sustainable industry.”
- Jeremy Olthof, president, Alberta Beekeepers Commission
Announced in June, the Alberta Beekeepers Stock Replacement Program includes up to $1 million to help beekeepers offset the increased costs of colony replacements due to COVID-19.
- The pandemic made importing affordable hive replacements from traditional sources like New Zealand and Australia more difficult.
The amended program will retroactively support queen purchases between April 1 and Sept. 30 on a 30 per cent cost-share basis to a maximum of $15 per queen.
Beekeepers use queens to replace their winter colony losses by splitting their live colonies and introducing new queens.
- Most queens are imported into Canada each year, as there is limited supply of domestic queens in the spring.
Alberta is the largest producer of honey in Canada, producing about 18.6 million kilograms annually and contributing $67 million to the economy.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments, with the aim of strengthening the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.
Programs and activities are focused on:
- Growing trade and expanding markets
- Innovative and sustainable growth of the sector
- Supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector
In Alberta, the Partnership has committed a federal-provincial investment of up to $406 million over five years towards strategic programs and services that are aligned to national objectives and tailored to priorities in Alberta.
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
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Agriculture and Forestry
Alberta Beekeepers Commission
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