Planet Bee beekeeper Ed Nowek is growing more concerned about his dying bee population. (Brieanna Charlebois/Morning Star).

Vernon beekeeper concerned after spike of deaths in bee population

Beekeeper Ed Nowek suspects Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is the reason his bees are dying.

Ed Nowek has been a beekeeper since 1969.

Recently, he became alarmed after noticing a spike in deaths of his bee population. He has sent a sample of bees to the Ministry of Agriculture for tests to determine what virus is affecting and killing his colonies. Results are expected soon but Nowek said he suspects it’s Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus.

IAPV is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. The mysterious outbreak of dying honey bees sparked interests of U.S. scientists in 2007. What is now known as Colony Collapse Disorder attracted massive media attention and created widespread concern about honey bees.

“Colony Collapse Disorder was discovered about ten years ago in the U.S. and we’ve been seeing this more and more in Canada too,” said Nowek. “Our bees are just becoming more and more susceptible to some of these illnesses that didn’t use to affect them before.”

Related: Happy bees, happy garden

Related: Urban bees making a buzz

When Nowek started Planet Bee in 1997 in Armstrong, he says his goal was to educate the public on the importance of bees. Today, he owns and operates Planet Bee in Vernon. He said this dream has become a reality.

“We now have an educational program that we run here in the summer and we try to teach people about bees,” he added.

He said the vast increase of the interest of bees since the discovery of Colony Collapse Disorder has been a good opportunity to educate people on the dying bees.

Related: Honey bees are vital to the environment

“Experts say that at least a third of the food in grocery stores wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for bees pollinating those plants and flowers,” said Nowek. “With growing populations around the planet, we need to find ways for producing food to feed these people and bees are an integral part of it.”

Nowek expects to receive the report from the Ministry of Agriculture within the next couple weeks. Updates to come.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.

>


@BrieChar
brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

Arrest made in Kamloops kidnapping case

Robert James Rennie was located and arrested Feb. 21 by the Penticton RCMP

Okanagan home to 2 of the best North American lake towns

TripAdvisor gives a nod to Kelowna and Osoyoos

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kelowna subdivision slope erosion fuels landslide fears

City says up to $1.2 million in slope remedial work is required this spring

Golds basketball team tops rankings ahead of Okanagan Valley Championships

Salmon Arm team heads straight to semifinals after stellar season

UPDATE: Highway 97A reopened north of Vernon

Three people are in hospital following crash that has one in critical condition

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Parole angers parents of Okanagan manslaughter victim

Tal Kalum LaRiviere was arrested in Alberta Feb. 18. He had previously been granted day parole

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

School district facing capacity challenges

Rising enrolment, outdated data and classroom changes prompt discussions

Most Read