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

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

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

A vehicle was fully engulfed in flames before around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kerry Hutter - contributed)
UPDATE: Kelowna man cuffed after carjacking in Vernon

Crime spree: Man robs couple at Coldstream lookout at gunpoint, sets a vehicle ablaze

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Most Read