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

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

Shuswap tow truck operator sees high number of collisions this summer

Drivers encouraged to “loosen up behind the wheel, smarten up and read the road”

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Retrieved body from Okanagan Lake identified as missing kayaker

Zygmunt Janiewicz had been missing since May and was recovered Aug. 10

Paddleboard festival coming soon to Kalamalka Lake

Wildfire smoke got in the way of last year’s event, but conditions look better this summer

Most Read