Project Description


The beekeeping industry has been growing in the past decade, with more than 25,000 honey bee hives now calling Nova Scotia home. Hives are used for both pollination services (e.g. apple, lowbush blueberry) and honey production.

To welcome and train the many new beekeepers within the industry, several opportunities have arisen. For example, the Atlantic Tech Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA), based at Perennia, was formed in April 2016 to provide extension and research services for honey bees. New courses have been developed, and training opportunities and guest speakers have also been created.

Nova Scotia is known for its delicious, high-quality honey. Honey is sold directly to consumers as well as in bulk. Pollination services provided by honey bees contribute to the significant wild blueberry industry in the Maritimes.

Innovative research is being conducted in Nova Scotia by the Tech Transfer Team, including optimizing pollination, enhancing overwintering success, better managing pests and diseases, and improving overall bee health. Beekeepers are eager to participate in research trials and continue to move the industry forward.


Contained in this link are the following useful fact sheets and publications on honey bee diseases and pests available for download: “An Introduction to Honey Bee Pests and Diseases in Ontario”

Varroa mites

“Varroa Mites – Biology and Diagnosis”
“Varroa Mites – Sampling and Monitoring Infestation Levels”
“Single Application Formic Acid Guide”
“Oxalic Acid Protocol”
“Oxalic Acid Safety Info”

American Foulbrood

“American Foulbrood – Biology and Diagnosis”
“American Foulbrood – Prevention and Management”

Small Hive Beetle

“Small Hive Beetle Info”
“Small Hive Beetle Treatment Recommendations”

Nosema cerenae

“What you need to know about Nosema Ceranae”
“Nosema Assessment Protocol”
“Nosema Sampling Vacuum Plans”


Contained in this link are numerous other useful fact sheets and publications on honey bee diseases and pests available for download.

The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists has an excellent publication outlining diseases and pests of honey bees. It is available for order via this link

The Ontario Beekeepers’ Association Technology Transfer Program has a Integrated Pest Management for Beekeeping in Ontario’ that provides additional information for pest and disease monitoring and management.  It is available for purchase following this link, as well as the above CAPA publication.


Successful overwintering is a significant challenge facing the beekeeping industry in Atlantic Canada and is a management point that must be tailored to specific Atlantic Canada conditions. ATTTA will be working on increasing overwintering success for bees and will provide information targeted to this region. Stay tuned for more information.


Biosecurity is important to all aspects of agriculture, including apiaries.  By ensuring biosecurity is part of your bee yard practices, the risk of introducing diseases and pests can be minimized.  There are national standards for bee farm biosecurity available from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. ATTTA will be addressing biosecurity in the near future.


When bees have access to nutritious food sources throughout the season, they can be at their optimum performance.  When bees are malnourished, stressors such as diseases and pests have an even greater impact. Here are some fact sheets outlining ideal bee yards, including which flowers to plant, where to implement bee yards and special considerations. Stay tuned for our own bee yard fact sheet adapted to Atlantic Canada.

Contact our Senior Apiculturist/ATTTA Program Lead
Sell or Rent Bee Hives on our Marketplace website
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Visit our New Entrants Resource website