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Peace Country research centre works to prevent bee death and promote hive health

The Peace Country has one of the largest concentrations of beekeepers in Canada and is home to many honey producers. The National Bee Diagnostic Centre, which opened its doors in 2012, was established to provide diagnostic work for beekeepers and honey producers across the country.

The Centre is a partnership between Grande Prairie Regional College and the Beaverlodge Research Farm. This partnership is the first comprehensive laboratory in Canada to provide a full array of diagnostic services for honeybee pests, diseases, and parasites.

In their first year, the five-person staff conducted about 1,800 tests. By 2015, their workload increased to nearly 20,000 tests, cementing their reputation as a national centre of research excellence. This success, while welcome, has stretched their resources to the limits and has caused them to outgrow their current facility.

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie – Mackenzie, is calling on the federal government to work with Grande Prairie Regional College and the National Bee Diagnostic Centre to help construct more space so that the Centre can continue to grow and continue their important work.

“The National Bee Diagnostic Centre has proven to be an incredible partnership between Grande Prairie Regional College and the Beaverlodge Research Farm. Peace Country honey producers and beekeepers from across the country have all benefitted from their work,” Warkentin said. “I have always been proud of this project.”

“It has proven to be even more successful than first imagined,” Warkentin continued. “I am hopeful that the federal government will bring new investment to this world class facility, so that they can expand and continue their essential research for years to come.”