Newfoundland and Labrador bees are special, and the provincial government wants to keep it that way
Besides producing honey, bees play a key role in the natural environment and agriculture in general through the pollination of plants. – File Photo
Legislation introduced to protect honey bees, funding provided for local beekeeping industry
Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the last places in the world that does not have the Varroa mite (Varroa destructor), known to decimate honeybee populations, and the provincial government says it wants to keep it that way.
On Tuesday in the House of Assembly, legislation was introduced to enable mandatory registration and inspection of all beekeeping operations with an aim to keeping the honey bee population in the province parasite-free.
“By maintaining vigilance and good animal husbandry practices, beekeepers in Newfoundland and Labrador have been successfully keeping the Varroa mite from our shores,” said Fisheries and Land Resources Gerry Byrne in a news release labelled ‘Stay Sweet NL.’
“This proposed change in legislation allows us to take decisive action to better protect our valued parasite-free honey bee health status and develop our growing apiculture sector.”
Varroa mites also transmit viruses and other pathogens that further weaken or ultimately kill entire bee colonies. In addition to Varroa, honey bee colonies here are free of other invasive pests such as the small hive beetle, honeybee tracheal mite and greater wax moth.
In addition to the Varroa mite, honey bee colonies in Newfoundland and Labrador are free of other invasive pests such as the small hive beetle, honeybee tracheal mite and greater wax moth. — 1243RF Stock Photo