Tuesday 9 June 2020

Welcome to the Atlantic Tech Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA) blog What's The Buzz. We will be using this platform to feature timely content about our research and extension resources, industry events, and more. This blog is designed to offer something for everyone- whether you’re a blueberry grower, beekeeper, researcher or extension agent, we will be sharing timely and regional content that impacts the intertwined sectors of beekeeping and wild blueberries.

Beekeepers can use this blog as a resource to develop better beekeeping practices in their apiaries and learn about new research findings. Blueberry growers can see how our research goals target building the pollination capacity of honey bees for lowbush blueberries. ATTTA’s five key objectives to build this pollination capacity are:

1)           Improve honey bee health and nutrition

2)           Improve disease and pest monitoring and treatment (including IPM strategies)

3)           Improve overwintering success

4)           Improve biosecurity techniques

5)           Optimize pollination in lowbush blueberry


Introducing our Team:

Robyn McCallum

Robyn has been the program lead for ATTTA since its inception in April 2016. Robyn works with ATTTA teammates to conduct research trials for honey bees in wild blueberry pollination across the Maritimes, and develop and deliver extension materials. Robyn is passionate about research and knowledge transfer to the beekeeping and wild blueberry sectors.

Andrew Byers

Andrew joined the ATTTA team in June 2020 to cover Robyn’s maternity leave for the next year. Andrew is a beekeeper in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and has a background in research. Andrew is passionate about beekeeper education and is excited to join the ATTTA team.

Jennifer Harrison

Jennifer joined the ATTTA team in April 2020- August 2020 to assist with research trials and extension. Jenn is a commercial beekeeper in Nova Scotia and a biology laboratory instructor at Mount Allison University, a position she will be returning to in August. Jenn has a deep understanding of honey bee and blueberry research, and a passion for translating research to extension materials for beekeepers and blueberry growers.

Jillian Shaw

Jillian is returning as an ATTTA summer student for her second season. Jill is also entering her fourth year at the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus and is completing her Honor’s Thesis project on Nosema incidence between hives that do and do not pollinate. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jill is spearheading this project as a citizen-science trial and is working directly with beekeepers across the Maritimes.  Jill is great with honey bees, laboratory work, research trials, and writing research and extension materials. We are excited to welcome Jill back for a second season!


Ongoing Research and Extension

Research projects this summer, working within COVID-19 restrictions, include the second year of our pollen substitute during pollination trial (year one report is available here: https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ATTTA-FactSheet-Oct-2019.pdf) and investigating the incidence of Nosema in honey bees used in blueberry pollination and regional Nosema trends (overview available here: https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ATTTA-Nosema-FINAL.pdf). Ongoing research results will be posted to our website and shared with industry.

New Reports and Extension Materials

Check out our website for a number of new research and extension materials, including a three-year report on examining the effect of honey bee colony stocking density in wild blueberries (available here: https://www.perennia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Effect-of-Stocking-Density-in-WB-eng-3.pdf).

Upcoming posts: Managing Honey Bee Colonies in Drought Conditions, Asian Giant Hornet, and Beekeeping and Tick Safety. Stay tuned for new, useful reports and extension materials.

Connecting with ATTTA Specialists

If you’d like to connect with ATTTA specialists or learn more about our program, you can:

·       Visit our website at https://www.perennia.ca/portfolio-items/honey-bees/

·       Read The Root newsletter through Perennia at https://us4.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=642ec925a6b70139cd668d4b0&id=0e9b713521

·       Call our Truro office at (902) 896-0277

·       Email abyers@perennia.ca


Thanks for following along with our blog and keeping up with the ATTTA buzz!