More than one-third of honeybee colonies in Canada have lost all their honey in the past 15 years, a new study has found.
The new analysis of bee populations in Canada shows a loss of up to 60 per cent in the last 15 years and that the decline is even more pronounced in the northeastern provinces.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) found that the honey bee population in Canada is now declining at rates three times the rate of population growth, and the number of colonies in decline has doubled over the past five years.
The research was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The study is the first to document the decline in honey bee populations across Canada, and it’s also a wake-up call to governments and the public about the critical importance of protecting the pollinators that pollinate crops.
“The honey bee is a major pollinator for many crops and we have a responsibility to ensure they are protected,” said Dr. Andrew McGlashan, a professor of entomology at the UBC and lead author of the study.
“The honey bees have been targeted by diseases and parasites that have taken over honey production, and that is a concern.”
The decline in the honey bees is also being seen in the numbers of honey bee colonies across Canada.
For example, in the Greater Toronto Area, the honey production of the honeybee population in the region is at a 20-year low.
“We’ve seen a very slow increase in bee numbers, and this has been accompanied by declines in population,” said University of Waterloo entomologist Dr. Kevin Stott, who co-authored the study with Dr. Robert Hildebrand.
“This is happening in a region that is so diverse in terms of habitat, food sources, climate and climate variability.
There’s a lot of variation in how different people live and the habitats they live in.”
The study shows that the loss of honey bees in Canada has been largely driven by the collapse in pollinator numbers.
“These declines have occurred as bee populations have been declining, which has led to losses in the number and quality of the brood produced, which have reduced the overall size of colonies,” said McGlachan.
In Ontario, the number in decline is twice that of the population, with a rate of decline of up 1.5 per cent.
The decline has been most pronounced in Ontario, where the decline has taken place at a rate three times greater than in the rest of Canada.
The researchers also found that Ontario honey bee numbers have been falling since 2000.
While honey bees are the world’s most important pollinators, they’re also under pressure.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the cost of maintaining a hive in the United States costs as much as $1.8 million a year.
The decline of the bee population has also led to changes in the way people use and eat crops.
The study found that Canadians have a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables and lower consumption of nuts and seeds, and people are more likely to consume foods made from non-heavenly substances.
In the past decade, a major honeybee decline has occurred in Canada, driven in part by declines of beekeepers and the decline of honey production in the province.
In 2016, the bee-killing pesticide DDT was banned in the country.
It was eventually removed from Canadian markets.
In addition to the study, the UBS team also released a report in 2017 that detailed their findings on how bee-related diseases are spreading.
The authors reported that bee-associated diseases are currently threatening the bee health of Canadians.