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

Another Kelowna club bites the dust

Level nightclub will be closing

Kelowna weather: Grey days return

The sun will be hiding behind the clouds for the next few days

Okanagan film industry brings in $32 million

Business is brisk in the Okanagan

Nomination date set for Kelowna- Lake Country Conservatives

March 2 is the deadline for anyone who wants to run for the federal nomination

Rutland pride spills over

Reaction to a story this weekend was clear and worth a second read

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

UPDATED: ‘Violent’ B.C. man back in custody after Alberta arrest

Prince George man with ties to Vernon was being sought by police

After a week away, SNC-Lavalin questions await MPs returning to Parliament

Two have resigned already: Jody Wilson-Raybould was veterans affairs minister and Gerald Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

Chanel: Iconic couturier Karl Lagerfeld has died

He spent virtually his entire career at luxury labels catering to the very wealthy

Interior Health on high alert for possible measles cases

No reports of the disease yet, but regular travel to the Coast could bring measles to the Interior

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Most Read