Province to increase pollination
Creating jobs for Islanders -
The latest buzz around boosting Prince Edward Island agriculture is a new program that will help expand the Island's bee population and increase pollination.
The Pollination Expansion Program will assist with the purchase of new hives that will help expand the honey bee sector, and also provide resources and information for those who want to become beekeepers. For more information or to apply for the program visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/pollination-expansion.
“As Canada’s Food Island, our province is becoming increasingly diverse in farming. Our lowbush blueberry sector requires increased pollination, and so will other fruit crops as we continue to expand acreage in highbush blueberries and apples,” said Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac. “The Pollination Expansion Program will increase pollination capacity in our province while supporting our Island beekeepers and crop producers.”
Applicants to the program should submit an expansion plan for their operation, outlining their current number of hives and their proposed expansion plans. If the applicant is a new beekeeper, they must also submit an education plan outlining how they intend to get the required experience they need.
“The initiation of a pollination expansion program will be a great boost for not only meeting our Island’s pollination needs but also our 46 Island beekeepers,” said Kenneth Lewis, president of the PEI Beekeepers Association. “This program gives our beekeeping community and those interested in the industry the opportunity to grow their career.”
A new provincial apiarist and berry crop development officer, Cameron Menzies, will join the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in February 2018 to lead the program. Some of Menzies’ initial projects with the beekeeping sector will include:
- developing and delivering an introductory beekeeping course for new beekeepers;
- hosting information days and workshops for established beekeepers; and
- initiating research projects as identified by the industry.