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Nova Scotia producers rent beehives to increase yields

Staff writer |
The organization representing wild blueberry growers in Nova Scotia says profit margins are expected to be so low that growers need as many bees as possible to pollinate crops this spring.

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Peter Rideout, executive director of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, says continuing to import bees from Ontario is necessary because there are not enough local hives.

Nova Scotia's Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell has said new measures to import bees from Ontario are necessary to balance the needs of the blueberry and bee industries.

Blueberry growers are renting the 5,000 hives from beekeepers in Ontario and the colonies will be imported to Nova Scotia for a few weeks during the spring bloom, which is expected to happen the end of May and the first two weeks of June this year.

The province says it is sending an inspection team — made up of local beekeepers and blueberry growers — to Ontario to examine the individual hives before they're shipped to ensure they're not infested with the small hive beetle.

Rideout says he's confident about the control measures the province is putting in place. A course coming up this weekend will train volunteers with his organization to assist inspecting the hives before they come to Nova Scotia.

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