OBA does not support the national Honey Bee Health Survey. Read more here.
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Ontario Beekeepers' Association: Since 1881
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May 20, 2015
Dear <<First Name>>,

Thanks again to everyone who completed OBA's quick winter loss survey. It gave us a good snapshot of how Ontario's bees are doing this spring. You may have seen the US report, showing that their summer and winter losses were 42% during 2014/15. This includes both winter and summer losses, statistics that Ontario generally doesn't track but I'm sure would exceed those numbers. In the meantime, we encourage you to complete the OMAFRA survey that was mailed to you this week which will give us an in-depth look at the health of Ontario's colonies and beekeeping industry and a source of comparison to the rest of Canada. However, you will see below that we are not supporting the National Honey Bee Health Survey. We don't think this Alberta-based survey, which has omitted pesticides as an issue, is likely to result in an unbiased outcome with the depth of information required.

Plans for the EAS conference are ticking along, I encourage you to sign up now. I look forward to meeting members there, so look me up.

All the best,
Tibor Szabo, President.


OBA board members appointed to Ontario's Pesticide Advisory Committee

OBA is pleased to report that OBA President Tibor Szabo and board member Jim Wilson have both been appointed to the Ontario government's Pesticide Advisory Committee by the Lieutenant Governor. Tibor and Jim join the 17-member committee whose function is to review the content and operation of the Pesticides Act and its regulations, and recommend changes or amendments to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change; review all Ontario government publications on pesticides and pest control; review and make recommendations on the classification of all new federally registered pest control products prior to their sale and use in Ontario; and advise the minister on matters relating to pesticides and pest management.

This is the first time that the beekeeping industry has been represented on this committee. "Beekeepers are significant stakeholders in these issues and we have relevant knowledge, experience and perspective to contribute," said Tibor Szabo. "Both Jim and I are pleased to be appointed and look forward to meeting and working with the other members to support responsible use of pesticides in Ontario."

The committee meets 12 times a year. Congratulations and thank you to both Tibor and Jim.

Love Ontario food? Celebrate Local Food Week June 1-7

Celebrate Ontario's bounty during Local Food Week 2015. You can find events at loveontfood.ca. OBA is participating in a couple of ways:
  • We have a booth at Foodland Ontario's Queen's Park Farmers' Market/Local Food Celebration Event to be held on Thursday June 4, 2015 on the NE Quadrant of the front lawn of the Legislative Assembly. We'll be providing information on bee issues, a demonstration hive and, of course, free samples.
  • June 3rd Twitter Party hosted by Foodland Ontario @ 8 pm. We'll also be using our presence on social media to support local food.
If you are interested in getting involved in your community or honey house, check out loveontfood.ca for resources and ideas. Love local! 

Not an OBA member yet? Join or renew in May and receive a guide to building a pollinator garden.

OBA is providing new or renewing members with a PDF of a series of articles in recent issues of the Ontario Bee Journal written by landscape architect Ben O'Brien, about how to build a pollinator-friendly garden in your yard or community. Plant lists and suppliers are included, and we will also mail you a lovely poster of the top 10 bee plants. Join today and you will start to receive the OBJ as part of your membership in addition to all the other perks and savings. 

OBA does not support the National Honey Bee Health SurveyOBA has written a letter to the National Bee Diagnostic Centre in Alberta notifying them of our lack of support for the National Bee Health Survey. While we believe the study may be helpful to beekeepers in some provinces, in Ontario we have an extensive program of bee inspectors who do an excellent job of monitoring our hives and informing Ontario beekeepers about the health of their bees. In addition, the terms of reference of the study will not provide any data about the effects of pesticides on bee health. Honey bee health is at risk from factors such as parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, stress and environmental toxins. Any Canadian study that we support must have, as an objective, colony pesticide analysis to assess both the variety and quantity of pesticides present in honey bee hives.

EAS Conference registration now onlineWe've been getting lots of calls about registering for the upcoming EAS Conference being held in Guelph this year on August 10-14 and we are happy to say online registration is now open. Don't delay! This is a great opportunity to meet beekeepers from all over the US and Canada and learn from experienced beekeepers, scientists and academics. You can find all the information on programs, speakers and how to register here.

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