GUELPH -- Ontario's bees overwintered well this past year, as the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists reported losses of only 18 percent.
Average national overwintering losses were 17 per cent, putting Ontario on par with the rest of the country and several provinces reported significantly higher losses than Ontario. The top two reasons for bee losses noted by Ontario beekeepers were poor queens and starvation.
"We are pleased to see these promising numbers for bees in our province," said Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. "This year's losses are less than half of what was experienced the previous year."
Weather significantly affects the report of losses. Ontario's overwintering losses appear higher following severe winters and lower following mild winters. This past winter brought moderate weather and so brought lower bee losses.
"It is worth noting that the most recent overwintering numbers are prior to Ontario's seed treatment regulations being in place. As we continue to see data that indicates strong bee populations and numerous bee health factors, it reinforces that Ontario's rush to restrict neonicotinoids was unnecessary," suggested Brock.