US - On March 5, 2015, the National Bee Health Roundtable (BHRT) held its third workshop since its inception in March 2014. The industry members of the BHRT were pleased to report on the achievements of the first year.
The roundtable, a coalition of stakeholders with a direct interest in the health of bees, is taking action to improve bee health and has several areas of significant progress. This includes the development of a National Bee Health Action Plan which presents key objectives and factors that contribute to the health of bees.
“The collaborative approach of the Roundtable, which brings together a wide array of stakeholders, regulators and experts, has proven to be an invaluable tool in the examination and protection of bee health,” said Rod Scarlett, co-Chair of the BHRT and Executive Director of the Canadian Honey Council.
“We are able to draw upon the expertise of members from across Canada and develop a viable national framework for the protection of bees.”
The National Bee Health Action Plan identifies priority issues, fosters collaborative and innovative activities that help maintain a healthy honeybee population in Canada, and supports a competitive Canadian apicultural industry. The BHRT heard about achievements in three priority areas: reduction of Varroa Mites; the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs); and pesticide risk mitigation.
It was recognized that significant progress had been made in moving closer to providing additional tools for beekeepers to control one of the biggest threat to bee health, the parasitic Varroa mite.
The BHRT has requested that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada place a high priority, as part of their minor use programs, on a new Varroa control product and an antibiotic for treatment of serious hive disease.
“Honeybee health is important to the entire agriculture and agri-food value chain”, said William van Tassel, First Vice-Chair, Fédération des Producteurs de Cultures Commerciales du Québec.
“Having all parties working together in a productive manner has led to real progress in a positive environment.”
The next National Bee Health Roundtable meeting is scheduled for October 2015.
TheCropSite News Desk
Top image via Shutterstock