Lack of bee imports due to Covid-19 will affect Canada’s honey supply and agriculture

Image of honey bees on comb.

(CTV) Scandia Honey imports 20,000 bee packages each season, which are used to start new hives or replace ones that die over winter. This year, because of shipping restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic, they got none. The company says that will put a strain on Canada’s honey supply. An even bigger problem for Canada might be the effect a drop in the number of beehives will have on agriculture: bee hives are used by seed companies to pollinate their crops to produce the seed stock for next year.

China’s beekeepers feel the sting of Covid-19

Image of Chinese beekeepers.

(The Economist $) This year Covid-19 has been a bigger headache than pesticides for the country’s 250,000 beekeepers. Many of them are itinerant, moving their colonies around the country on lorries in search of pollen and nectar. For many days, restrictions imposed to curb the epidemic made this difficult. It is too late to catch the early blooms of spring. Margins are thin at the best of times. Some may be able to supplement their income by pollinating farmers’ crops. “Beekeepers have to rely on heaven to eat.”

Kangaroo Island beekeepers feed surviving bees, distribute bushfire funds

Image of bushfires.

(The Islander) The Kangaroo Island Beekeepers Group wants to track down all honey producers operating on the Island so that bushfire funds can be fairly distributed. “As a collective we need to decide how we can use this money to benefit the KI beekeeping community. However, we do not have a complete contact list for the Island’s beekeepers.”

California attorney general calls out insufficient regulation of insecticide

Image of honey bee on flower.

(Santa Barbara Independent) Flonicamid is currently under review by the EPA for residential use, but California Attorney General Xavier Becerra asserts the insecticide may be toxic to bees and other critical pollinators. A new study on adult honey bees found flonicamid to be fatal for bees, Becerra stated in a letter to the EPA. A copy of the comment letter can be found here.