OAHN Bee Network Research Project: Communication and Design Assistance for the Ontario Varroa Monitoring Campaign
Project Lead and Collaborators:
Paul Kozak – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Jim Coneybeare – Ontario Beekeepers’ Association
Kelsey Ducsharm – Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Technology Transfer Program
Dr. Nuria Morfin-Ramirez – University of Guelph – Honeybee Research Centre
Colette Mesher – Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Technology Transfer Program
The Ontario Varroa Monitoring Campaign is an annual project conducted by the Ontario Animal Health Network bee network, in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association (OBA) the OBA Technology Transfer Program (TTP) and the University of Guelph. The goal of the 2022 Ontario Varroa Monitoring Campaign was to increase knowledge of Varroa mite monitoring and treatment best management practices in Ontario, and to gain information from all sectors of the beekeeping industry (hobbyist and commercial) about Varroa levels.
For the past five years, the Ontario Varroa Monitoring Campaign has been used to actively engage Ontario beekeepers with communication materials and outreach demonstrating how to effectively monitor the Varroa mite levels in their colonies. Furthermore, the campaign has gathered summary data on regional Varroa mite levels through beekeeper participation.
In 2022, two personnel were recruited to assist with the campaign on a seasonal, part-time basis. This ensured that the momentum from previous years was not lost, and the campaign had the stability to push forward even through a busy beekeeping season. The personnel developed and communicated materials, assisted in designing a strategy that targets both commercial and hobbyist beekeepers, and integrated communications with existing advisory material in Ontario. They also participated in meetings, report writing, and project reviews.