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New Brunswick beekeepers expect 2020 to be a sweet year for honey production

Bees are seen on a frame from a hive in Montreal on April 20, 2016. Beekeepers in New Brunswick say 2020 is shaping up as a sweet year for honey production despite the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Ryan Golden, vice-president of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association, says the last three years have seen a heavy loss of bees during the winter, but this winter and summer have been good, and hives are heavy with honey. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

Beekeepers in New Brunswick say 2020 is shaping up to be a sweet year for honey production despite the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ryan Golden, vice-president of the New Brunswick Beekeepers Association, said today the province lost a lot of bees during the past three years – a phenomenon he says is tied to climate change.

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But he says the bee population this year is more stable and New Brunswick’s hives are heavy with honey.

Golden says there are about 13,000 colonies of honey bees in the province – fewer than half the number needed for the pollination of blueberry crops.

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He adds the rest of the insects have to be brought in temporarily from other provinces such as Ontario.

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Golden says getting new queen bees from places such as California and Hawaii was almost impossible last spring because the pandemic had slowed postal services.