Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission
The Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission is a strong organization with over 100 members. Its membership includes a majority of Saskatchewan’s commercial beekeepers as well as an equal number of hobby beekeepers. Saskatchewan beekeepers are an innovative and progressive group, proud of their accomplishments.
1. Honey Production. Our climate and agricultural conditions coupled with beekeepers management skills combine to produce the largest per capita honey production in Canada and perhaps one of the highest in the world.
2. Self-Reliance. Since the early 1970’s Saskatchewan beekeepers have been at the forefront of prairie beekeeping in learning how to winter colonies outdoors and indoors. This has resulted in stronger colonies and higher production. At the same time many producers have begun queen production on a commercial scale both for their own use and for sale within Saskatchewan and exports to the United States. Selected Saskatchewan stock is extremely productive and winter hardy.
3. Disease Control. The tracheal mite arrived in Saskatchewan in 1987 and the Varroa mite in 1995. Using a system of quarantines, movement restrictions, treatment of affected apiaries, and mapping of apiary locations, the tracheal mite is now found in only half of the colonies in the province and Varroa in less than 10% of the hives.
4. Education. The SBDC provides a quarterly newsletter to its members. The annual convention attracts approximately 150 people each year to hear speakers and research results. An annual field day is held annually to update members on the the latest beekeeping issues and to showcase a Saskatchewan Producer.
5. Research Funding. The SBDC obtained $500,000 from the provincially funded Agi-Food Innovation Fund. In addition the members contribute generously to this area. This money is spent on research into tracheal and Varroa mite biology and control as well as nectar production and pollination needs of specialty crops. Most recently the SBDC has provided significant monies to fund research on the “Exploring Prebiotic & Probiotic Feed Supplements for Honeybees and their impact on Colony Health”.