Canola School – Bees & Beneficials – Defining Terms, Protecting Habitat and Recognizing Benefits

Beehives near the centre of Carlisle, Massachusetts. | Photo by MarkBuckawicki

“Neonicotinoids,” “Colony Collapse Disorder,” “Varroa,” “Nosema”… Defining those colloquialisms (and others) was just one of the goals the Canola Council of Canada’s Gregory Sekulic had in mind when he presented “Buzzwords about Bees” at the Farming Smarter Conference in Medicine Hat. Sekulic wanted to clear the air on jargon that so often exacerbates misunderstanding

Beehives near the centre of Carlisle, Massachusetts. | Photo by MarkBuckawicki

Beehives near the centre of Carlisle, Massachusetts. | Photo by MarkBuckawicki

“We really lose sight of the fact that the things and terms that we’re familiar with and use on a daily basis, aren’t used in the general public,” says Sekulic.

And although misinformation and misunderstandings certainly cause challenges, it isn’t all bad news in the bee industry. As we mentioned in A FarmTech ’15 Preview: All About the Bees, from 2013 to 2014 Canada actually saw increases in beekeepers, colonies, honey production and value, according to Statistics Canada data.

In addition, farmers are becoming increasingly aware of the roles beneficial insects play in agriculture, and how they can help those populations thrive. To Sekulic, the evolution of on-farm awareness is promising. 

“The fact that growers are interested and are wanting to preserve these natural species — a large proportion of which are quite beneficial to us — is certainly encouraging and it makes my work worthwhile.”

RelatedCanola School: Helping Beneficial Insects Feel at Home

In the following interview, filmed at the Farming Smarter Conference, Sekulic talks about wading through the jargon, protecting diverse habitats and recognizing the benefits of insect species. Take a listen:

 

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