New Brunswick Hort Congress 2023

Thursday 23 March 2023

With the beekeeping season fast approaching, we are winding down the final meetings of the winter period.  Last week was a hugely successful congress meeting held in Fredericton and ATTTA was please to attend.  There are still a few workshops and gatherings in the diary through spring but the shift in focus for beekeepers has definitely moved to the upcoming season!

New Brunswick Hort Congress 2023

The first day of the NB Hort Congress began with warm welcome from Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries (DAAF) Deputy Minister Cathy LaRochelle who introduced the meeting theme of cultivating connections, a message that rings true for the collaboration between beekeepers and wild blueberry producers in our Atlantic pollination industry! Then, following a presentation on resilience in agriculture from Keynote Speaker Peter Nelson from Farm Credit Canada (FCC), the group broke into breakout rooms for more focused presentations.

ATTTA joined the wild blueberry group for the breakout sessions of day one. There was discussion on a range of topics around wild blueberry management, from ecological considerations around blueberry diseases to remote sensing and precision technology. ATTTA was pleased to present on the topic of honey bee pollination services and introduce our new Best Management Practices Guide for Honey Bee Pollination of Wild Blueberries in Atlantic Canada! Aside from ATTTA, speakers were representing Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, University of Maine, Dalhousie University, and the Wild Blueberry Association of North America. In the afternoon, Bleuets NB Blueberries held their business meeting.  The events of the first day ended with a very well attended reception and a welcome from the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Margaret Johnson.

Annie Bennett of ATTTA presenting at the NB Hort Congress 2023

The second day of the congress provided opportunities for delegates to gain further information on vegetable and fruit production.  There was a number of talks either specifically about honey bees or linked.  Parallel sessions on cranberry production were directly related to pollination of that crop.  Francois Gervais of Club Environnemental et Technique Atocas Québec (CETAQ) spoke about interesting research being conducted to protect honey bees from agrochemical use in that sector.  The realisation of the importance of protecting honey bees was further emphasized in an afternoon session done by ATTTA.  Our discussion on the value of pollinators and the merits of protecting them was well received.  This presentation was complemented by a very interesting talk on promoting wild bees in agricultural spaces done by Jess Vickruck (AAFC Fredericton).  These series of presentations allowed a theme of pollination and its importance to run through the day.

One of the keynote speakers, Peter Nelson (Farm Credit Canada), at the NB Hort Congress 2023

During the breaks between talks there was a large trade show to visit which was representative of the breadth of the horticulture industry in NB and beyond.  It was good to have a chance to speak with the Agricultural Alliance of NB staff and hear specifically about their Agriculture in the Classroom initiative involving honey bees. Our friends from Andermatt Canada had a presence and will of course be know to beekeepers as a supplier of Varroa management tools.  Another familiar company for beekeepers with a strong presence was Doug Bragg Enterprises, well known as a supplier of equipment to the wild blueberry industry.  Many more were present from across the general horticulture and agriculture sectors.

The Congress was concluded with a statement from the Assistant Deputy Minister at New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Kevin McCully.  The overwhelming success of the Congress was recognized as was the demonstration of the demand for this meeting by industry participation.  A commitment to follow up with another congress in the near future was made to the delegates as the show closed.

Connecting with ATTTA Specialists

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