Deadline for beekeeper compensation program June 20th. Don't miss it!
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Ontario Beekeepers' Association: Since 1881
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June 4, 2014
Dear <<First Name>>,

The late Spring has had significant implications for beekeeping, some not-so-good and some helpful. On the not-so-good side, hives were slow to build and many of us were scrambling to get our hives ready to send east for pollination. On the plus side, those sent off were protected from the major effects of corn planting exposure. Not everyone sends their hives east, though, so we are watching closely to see what happens as corn crops go in. Stay in touch with us on this, and refer to the OBA website for information on how to report. It's important to be vigilant.

As you know, we've been busy gathering and providing information and resources to help beekeepers and supporters keep bee health issues front and centre this election. This is an important election, so we encourage everyone to get informed, get involved and vote!

And finally, we will be sending you a special detailed bulletin on the compensation program in the next day or so, but please remember that the deadline for signing on to the program is June 20th, and this is for both winter losses and summer losses. Keep an eye out for the OBA bulletin with full information. 

All the best,
Dan Davidson, President
Thanks to OBA Board Member, Andre Flys, for sharing this photo of daughter, Peyton, poised for flight at the May 24th Requiem for Bees demonstration at Queen's Park. 

Ontario election coming up: Vote4Bees!

Whoever said the electorate is indifferent, doesn't know many beekeepers. The response to OBA's special bulletin sent out last week on the Leaders' platforms related to bees was exceptional. (If you didn't receive it, you can find it here).

The Facebook page, alone, had over 10,000 visits and our website was swamped with people downloading the press release detailing the leaders' responses to our questions. Many of the the 15,000 people who received the bulletin responded. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write us a note with your opinion, or just to say 'thanks'. We're tracking all of your comments.

Some people have asked for advise on who to
vote for. The OBA has not taken a partisan position on the election. As a member association, we feel it is our role to advocate politically, keep our members informed about the directions and policies of governments, and to provide information on the positions of all major parties during an election. The rest is up to you.

We received a reply from the NDP after the press release went out. Read it and the others and then: Vote4Bees!

Responses from Leaders:
Andrea Horwath, NDP of Ontario
Kathleen Wynne, Liberal Party of Ontario
Tim Hudak, Conservative Party of Ontario
Mike Schreiner, Green Party of Ontario

Wet spring, late corn planting, hoping for the best.

According to last week's edition of the Ontario Farmer, only a third of corn crops have been planted this year due to a late and then wet spring. OBA has been getting reports of major bee kills related to corn dust in particular areas, but not yet to the extent of 2012 and 2013. As well, many of the commercial beekeepers providing pollination services to provinces to the east of Ontario have shipped off many of their hives, reducing the potential for exposure from the corn dust. But these delays make it even more important that every beekeeper stay vigilant and report any suspected incidents of pesticide poisoning. Remember the compensation program will pay you for any hives lost this winter, through the spring and summer and up to October.

Prince Edward County bans neonicotinoids

In a stunning show of municipal leadership, Prince Edward County, located in Ontario's agricultural heartland, has become the first Canadian municipality to temporarily ban neonicotinoid pesticides on municipal property effective immediately. Further, the Council wants the federal and provincial government to "declare a moratorium surrounding the use of neonicotinoid crop treatments, as soon as possible, pending further study." This effort was encouraged by a local group, BEE Active Group which has been asking for support in raising awareness and pushing for change in the use of neonics. Just goes to show what a few committed citizens can do. Thanks Kate MacNaughton, Lenny Epstein and the rest of your group. You're an inspiration to all of us working on this issue.

Would you like to use the Foodland Ontario logo?

Did you know that 9 out of 10 principal grocery shoppers in Ontario recognize the Foodland Ontario logo? If you want to jump on that bandwagon, you can use the Foodland logo for free. Check out the Foodland website for more information, or contact Sandra Jones at 1-888-466-2372.

Speaking of marketing, are you up-to-date on labelling requirements?The OBA office reports that they are receiving calls from people wondering if there have been changes to the requirements, so here is the most current information on honey labelling in Ontario. A reminder, too, of Dominion Grimm's container incentive program which generously supports OBA. 

Dufferin Beekeepers' Association member publishing beekeeping bookSecretary of the Dufferin association, Kevin Roy Fox, informs us that "Plants for Beekeeping in Canada and Northern USA" and IBRA publication, is being published in British Columbia. If you would like to purchase a copy of this timely and relevant publication, contact Mr. Darrell at for more information

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