How was your winter? Take our 2-minute quickie survey.
Want to receive your own copy? Sign up here for the e-newsletter.

Ontario Beekeepers' Association: Since 1881
Become a Member
April 21, 2015
Dear <<First Name>>,

We're hearing mixed reports about over-wintering, so we are doing another short survey like we did last year. Please take a couple of minutes to complete the five quick questions. These early results will help us understand how beekeepers across the province are doing. You can find the survey at

This is a busy time of year for most people, politicians included. We'd like to thank Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for spending a full morning at Pioneer Honey with OBA Director André Flys. That shows a real commitment to learning about our industry. You can read about the visit and the interview in the upcoming Ontario Bee Journal.

Enjoy the spring!

All the best,
Tibor Szabo, President


Beekeepers: Watch out for ticks!

This is tick season and beekeepers need to be especially aware within and around their bee yards to minimize the chance of a tick bite which could lead to Lyme Disease. A study in Central Europe indicated that 31.1% of the responding beekeepers had experienced Lyme Disease, and reports indicate the spread of ticks, and therefore the potential for Lyme, all across Ontario. Here are a few tips for prevention:
  1. Keep your bee yards as tidy as possible. Ticks lurk in tall grass as well as leaves and underbrush.
  2. Wear long sleeves and pants tucked into socks or boots. Wear a hat and tie back long hair.
  3. After being out, get undressed in a dry bathtub so you can spot ticks that fall off clothing. Immediately shower using a washcloth to knock off any unattached ticks.
  4. When coming in from outside activities where you may have been exposed to ticks, put clothes in the dryer set on high heat for an hour. Ticks can survive hot water, but not the high heat of the dryer.
  5. Do a routine check on yourself. Check dark, moist areas, hair, scalp, behind ears and knees, elbows, underarms, skin folds and the groin area.
  6. Remove ticks as soon as possible using tweezers. Don't use matches or vaseline. Take a look at this site for tips on how to remove ticks without exacerbating the situation.
  7. Some people recommend spraying permethrin on your clothes, but remember this is a serious pesticide, so if you do this, follow the label, protect yourself, your family and the environment, (and don't spray it in the bee yard).
  8. If you have had Lyme Disease in the past, you are not immune and can contract the disease again upon re-exposure.
  1. Rash. A small red bump may appear at the site of the tick bite which doesn't indicate Lyme disease. However, over the next few days, the redness may expand, forming a rash in a bull's eye pattern.
  2. Flu-like symptoms. Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany the rash.
  3. Later signs. Weeks, months or years after you were infected you may experience bouts of severe joint pain and swelling. You could even experience neurological problems.
  1. Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. In general, recovery will be quicker and more complete the sooner treatment begins.
  2. According to the Mayo Clinic, some people who get Lyme Disease are predisposed to develop an autoimmune response that causes on-going symptoms despite treatment. 
Lyme Disease can be serious, so beekeepers are encouraged to take precautions and call your doctor if you think you may be experiencing symptoms.

For further reading: The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, National Capital Lyme Disease Foundation, Ontario Ministry of Health, The Mayo Clinic

How are your hives doing this spring? Take our 2-minute survey.

You may be 'surveyed out' at the moment, but please take time to complete our 2-minute survey to help us understand what happened over the winter. This is similar to last year's survey, so it will give us a chance to compare this year to last year. You can find it at We'll get the results to you asap.

EAS Conference: Speakers list now available

The EAS Conference, coming this August 10-14 in Guelph, has posted the conference speakers. If you were looking for something to help you make the final decision whether to come or not, this list should convince you. Take a look at the range of speakers and workshops and start planning. 

Growing Forward 2 UpdateOMAFRA advises us that current Growing Forward 2 (GF2) Program  Guides for Producers and Processors are no longer in effect as of March 31, 2015. New GF2 guidelines will be available in April. As there have been some changes, OMAFRA requests that you consult the new guidelines before beginning a project for which you will seek funding. GF2 offers cost-share funding for education, training, audits, assessments, planning and implementation activities. For more information.

Recent News & Updates

Recent News & Updates

Copyright © 2015 Ontario Beekeepers' Association, All rights reserved.