Ontario's beekeepers lost 58% of their bees last winter: Report

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Jennifer Bieman, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. — Ontario’s beekeepers lost 58% of their bees last winter, a new report says.

The provincial death rate was more than three times the average for the rest of Canada and well above the 15% loss for a typical winter.

The report from the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists identified three possible factors for the steep losses in Ontario: starvation from lack of food caused by the harsh winter, exposure to pesticides and parasites.

“I had one of my worst years. It was either my worst or second-worst. We lost 35% here,” said Dan Davidson, president of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association.

“It is the highest documented level of winter mortality that we have had in Ontario as a province,” said Paul Kozak, provincial apiarist for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. “We have other years that have been high, but not as high as 58%.”


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