In a National Observer piece this week, Paul Kelly, research and apiary manager at U of G’s Honey Bee Research Centre (HBRC), spoke about the record number of hives lost by Canadian beekeepers last year.
Kelly estimates the total value of honeybees to the Canadian economy is $70 billion each year, including honeybee pollination benefits, honey production and the income of farmers who depend on the bees.
“As the weather is unpredictable due to climate change, we encourage beekeepers to anticipate high losses,” he added.
Kelly, staff apiarist in the School of Environmental Sciences, has worked with bees for more than 30 years. As manager of the HBRC since 1987, he tends honeybee colonies used in research projects, provides training for students and beekeepers, and conducts facility tours.