By Cassandra Docherty MSc., Apiculture Technologist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
I fell in love with honey bees after having the opportunity to do a couple hive inspections with a professor while I was studying abroad. When I returned to Canada to finish the second half of my masters degree on an invasive fish species in Alberta, I decided to take a beginner beekeeping course. Needless to say, my fascination with these creatures only grew stronger. A year after I graduated, I was lucky to land a job working as an apiculture research technician at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. As of right now, I am hoping to expand my knowledge of honey bees and colony management, as well as develop specific technical skills to help the industry diagnose and manage pests and diseases.
The beekeeping industry in Alberta is the largest in Canada, and is home to over 315,000 honey bee colonies. Both honey production and the provision of pollination services to crops in Alberta and British Columbia are key aspects of the industry. Our goal at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is to support Alberta’s beekeepers to ensure the industry is strong and resilient, and honey bees are healthy for the future. One of our primary objectives is to assist beekeepers in developing and applying Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems in their operations to reduce the risks and costs associated with colony loss from disease outbreak.(more…)