Bees and cranberries are the latest recipients of funding under the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program, administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
Worker Bee Honey Co. of Chilliwack received the largest portion of funding, $170,320, to support development of an automated honey extraction system. It will reduce labour costs for honey producers and improve data collection, improving beekeepers’ understanding of colony productivity and health. Development of the system is being undertaken by Worker Bee in partnership with researchers at the University of the Fraser Valley.
“The results of this project will help beekeepers better care for their hives and improve honey yield,” a statement announcing the funding says.
A smaller award of $10,275 will support a BC Cranberry Marketing Commission study of pollination across different cranberry varieties. The results will help increase cranberry yield through artificial pollination.
The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program is funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year program that succeeded Growing Forward 2 in 2018. The program has funded a total of 28 projects since inception. These include studies of estrus in heifers, artificial insemination in water buffalo and dehydration techniques for fruits and vegetables. More recently, funding has supported work to precondition pears for ready eating and research towards targeted fertilizer applications in wine grape vineyards.
Total program funding under the CAP is $5.3 million, of which $2.7 million has been awarded. The next deadline for applications is January 31.