We (Andrea, Heather and Claire) had the honor of going to the CRAAQ’s annual conference on apiculture (http://www.craaq.qc.ca/Calendrier/1147?d=2011-05 ). The day began early, with a two hour ride to Portneuf to make it at 8:30. The day was organized in two parts, presentation on various topics until 11:30 and workshops after lunch. It was a beautiful sunny day, on a water front farm (Centre de recherche en sciences animales de Deschambault) filled with stimulating information.
Pesticides were mentioned as an additional stress, but it was emphasized that researchers are missing much data on the subject. Beekeepers are strongly encouraged to report any suspicion of pesticide poisoning that they may have, as every report with strengthen the argument that pesticides are indeed a problem.
It was repeatedly suggested that treatment be done against nosema as well as against varroa on a regular basis to keep levels in check. Also, there is a whole lot of prevention happening around the petite coleoptere de la ruche- quarentined zones, destruction of suspicious colonies, educating beekeepers... Despite strong recommendation to treat regularly, it was also mentioned that one of the major strengths of Quebec’s beekeeping industry is that most producers use an integrated management approach.
Also, we met Melissa Girard (firstname.lastname@example.org) who samples honey for free and will tell us exactly the type of pollen our bees are foraging.
Here is a list of the presentation and work shop topics:
- Caractérisation génomique de pathogènes associés à l’abeille mellifère Apis mellifera et à son parasite acarien Varroa destructor dans les ruchers du Québec (Pierre Giovanezzo)
- Le point sur des enjeux sanitaires préoccupants pour l’apiculture québécoise (Claude Boucher)
- Comparaison des effets de deux types de nourrissage automnal sur la santé et le développement printanier des colonies (Nicolas Tremblay)
- Nourrissage d’appoint lors de la pollinisation des canneberges (Georges Martin)
- Analyses quantitatives et temporelle de Nosema ceranae chez les abeilles au Québec (Tania Copley)
- Développement de la pupe du petit coléoptèrede la ruche (Aethina tumida, Coleoptera : Nitidulidae) en contexte climatique québécois (Martine Bernier)
Another interesting part of the event was being able to listen and take part of the multiple conversations going on between new and old, small time and big time, organic and industrial beekeepers, each expressing different concerns and opinions on the methods and treatments.