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ACIDF - Research

Committee Chair - Landen Stronks

Members - Colin McCaig

Mandate - Through direction from the BCA members, we will work with industry to develop and manage proactive research priorities to improve the health of honeybees.

Click here for the 2014 CAPA research report


Alberta Beekeepers Commission Research Projects

  • Must have written annual reports submitted to the research committee by the lead researcher by October 15 each year.

  • Must be provided a final written report at the end of each research project

Research Budget Fiscal 2014-2015: $60,000.00


National Honey Bee Health Surveillance Survey:


Carlos Castillo is the lead researcher for this research project.

This project was originally proposed in the 2013, but did not receive complete approval under the original funding model. The project has since been applied for and approved under Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.

Time: 4 years Start 2014 -End- 2017

Alberta Beekeepers Commission Budget:

Year 1- $18,750

Year 2- $18,750

Year 3- $18,750

Year 4- $18,750

The aim of the project will be to record the presence, density and distribution of endemic and exotic disease and pest organisms in Canadian apiaries, which has never been comprehensively documented before.” This projected was supported by the BCA but will be managed by Carlos Castillo, This project applied for the majority of its funding from Growing Forward 2.



  1. ACIDF 2014C004R/ARD/Nasr

Increased Sustainability Managing Bee Pests (Varroa Mites and Nosema)

Medhat Nasr is the main contact for this research project.

Time: 4 years Start 2014 -End- 2017

Alberta Beekeepers Commission Budget:

Year 1- $25,000

Year 2- $30,000

Year 3- $30,000

Year 4 -$30,000

  1. Continue developing alternative new miticides to enhance the rotation system for sustainable control of resistant Varroa mites:

  1. Semi-field and full scale field testing the efficacy of three identified miticides (ACIDF project: Vandervalk, Nasr and Dosdall, 2013);

  2. Evaluation of safety on bees and honey;

  1. Assess the treatment time effects on Varroa populations, levels of different viruses found in bee colonies in relation to annual winter mortality;

  2. Evaluation of factors affecting Nosema outbreaks and annual winter mortality; treatment timing.

  3. Screening alternative antibiotics for viable Nosema treatment.

  1. Proposal: 2013111 Honey Bee:

Sustainable Management of Bee Health, Varroa Mites and Viruses

Medhat Nasr is the main contact for this research project.

Time: 3 years: Start 2014 – End- 2016

Alberta Beekeepers Commission Budget:

Year 1- $15,000

Year 2- $15,000

Year 3- $15,000

The objectives of this proposed research project are as follows:

Developing alternative new acaricides to enhance the rotation system for sustainable control of Varroa mites and vectored viruses in honey bee colonies.

  1. Assess and determine the level of virulence of different strains of viruses found in bee colonies Varroa infested, mite free, and winter-killed within the Province of Saskatchewan.

  1. Evaluation of virus presence and concentration in bee colonies throughout the year to establish their relation to Varroa populations, treatment time impacts on bee population growth and colony mortality.

  1. Developing best management practices for production of healthy nucleus bee colony (3-10 frames of bees) with acaricides’ rotation strategies to replace dead colonies.

Over all the objective of this project is to enhance the control of Varroa and its associated viruses, provide options to reduce risks of developing resistance, and to ultimately decrease bee kill and honey contamination with chemical resides. The interrelationship between Varroa, viruses, level of virulence of viruses, treatment time, and their impacts on bee health and colony survivorship under Saskatchewan conditions will be assessed. Thus, effective sustainable methods for Varroa control will be developed that take into consideration how to minimize stress from associated viruses. Consequently, beekeepers will be able to address their daily challenges with bee health and failing industry economics.

  1. ACIDF2014C001R Dr. Shelley Hoover: Pollination Management to Maximize Canola Yield

Shelley Hoover is our contact for this project

Time: 3 years: Start 2014 -End- 2017.

Alberta Beekeepers Commission Budget:

Year 1- $27,500

Year 2- $27,500

Year 3- $10,000

The total three-year commitment to Alberta Beekeepers Commission: $64,500.00.

ABC Commitment AAFC U of C Student Yearly Total

Year 2014 $ 17,250.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 27,250.00

Year 2015 $ 17,250.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 27,250.00

Year 2016 N/A $ 10,000.00 $ 10,000.00

In addition the Alberta Beekeepers Commission (ABC) will receive and disburse funds from the Canadian Bee Research Fund (CBRF). These funds are for the graduate student at the University of Calgary and are $5,000.00 the 2014 season and $4,400.00 for 2015.

ABC Commitment AAFC U of C Student CBRF Total

Year 2014 $ 17,250.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 5,000.00 $ 32,250.00

Year 2015 $ 17,250.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 4,400.00 $ 31,650.00

Year 2016 N/A $ 10,000.00 N/A

As we discussed, the ABC and the CBRF funds for the graduate student will be paid twice per year, in May and September. The total May and September disbursements will each be $7,500.00; and in 2015 the student will receive a total of $14,400.00; $7,200.00 in each of May and September.


Key Objectives

  1. Clarify the contribution of managed pollination services to commodity and seed-production canola yield and seed characteristics

  1. Characterise how bee behavior affects pollination services delivered to canola crops, and how it can be manipulated to increase pollination and bee health

  2. Quantify the impact of pollination services on bee health in canola hybrid seed-production

  3. Identify landscape-level and farm management factors that affect canola yield with respect to pollination services, and pollinator health

  4. Develop guidelines for the efficient use and maximal health of bees pollinating canola.

  1. Probiotics

Shelley Hoover is our main contact for this project.

Agri-Innovation: CRSAD, Laval, AAFC, ARD, and Lallemond Inc., a privately held

Canadian company that makes probiotic supplements, animal nutrition products

( us/at-a-glance)

To date this project is still in the approval process.

Time: minimum 2 years Start: field trials 2015

Key Objective:

“Sustainable improvement of honey bee health and productivity with probiotics” through the Agri- Innovation Program.


Other possible projects:


U of A – Jessamyn Manson – the importance of Pollinator abundance and diversity in Canola and other agricultural lands in Alberta. There has been no financial commitment for the Alberta Beekeepers

Government of Alberta, Dr. Nicole Gaudett: Investigating the Sensory Properties, Chemical Characteristics and Consumer Preferences of Alberta Honey Wine.

To date this project is still in the approval process.

Time: Two years. Start 2014 – End 2016

To date the Alberta Beekeepers Commission only supports this project in principle. There has been no financial commitment from the Commission

  1. Lysozyme Project – Neova Technologies Abbotsford BC

Key Objective:

Prevention/treatment of Chalk brood, EFB and AFB

Time: one season trial at this time Start: spring 2014- End: Fall 2014

This project does not require any financial contribution from the BCA. It will just require volunteer producers who will participate in the trial.

New Miticides for Integrated Pest Management of Varroa destructor

(Acari: Varroidae) in Honey Bee Colonies on the Canadian Prairies

Click here for the Final Hopguard Study Report 2014.....PDF

Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund Ltd.

Click here for the research priorities for beekeepers in Alberta document....PDF