Honey bees are crucial to agriculture and contribute up to $5.5 billion annually to the Canadian economy by pollinating valuable Canadian crops. However, the health of honey bees has been declining over the past decade, with Canadian beekeepers losing more than a quarter of their colonies each winter since 2006-07.
The causes of honey bee declines are complex, vary over space and time, and are often difficult to identify. This project aims to use genomic tools to develop BeeCSI – a new health assessment and diagnosis platform powered by stressor-specific markers.
The project team will work with beekeepers, industry technology transfer teams, and diagnostic labs throughout the project. They will also work in consultation with federal and provincial regulatory entities to ensure that the tools are implemented and accessible to the beekeeping industry by the end of the project.