This fall’s Apimondia conference in Montreal put the spotlight on some of the innovative bee research taking place in BC.
During the research update at the recent BC Honey Producers Association meeting in Prince George, BCHPA president Kerry Clark acknowledged the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s support for two BC’s participation in Apimondia as well as the several bee health research projects local researchers and community groups are pursuing.
Honey adulteration is one of the key research projects supported by the BC Honey Producers Association that are attracting international attention.
“There was a full day of sessions on adulteration at Apimondia,” reported UBC biochemistry professor Leonard Foster, whose lab has been investigating the use of mass spectrometry to tackle the problem. Provincial funding is also supporting Peter Awram of Worker Bee Hney Co. in Chilliwack develop a database of samples to assist with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) testing for adulterated honey.
Heather Higo’s research on the health of bees that pollinate blueberries was discussed during an informal meeting that attracted some 50 researchers from across North America and Europe. The phenomenon of colonies collapsing after foraging in blueberries was noticed in the Fraser Valley in 2017, and local researchers have been keen to build relationships with researchers in the US and overseas who have been studying the issue.
The research reports were a key element of BCHPA’s education day in prince George, which attracted 180 people from across Western Canada.