Evaluating the contribution of colony characteristics, indoor overwintering facilities, environmental factors and the Jerrard feeder on overwintering success in honeybee nucleus colonies

Lead Applicant: Nigel Raine

Research Priority: Animal Health & Welfare Projects

Program Type: Tier 1

Funding Cycle: 2022/2023

Research Centre: NA

Research Summary: In Ontario and Canada, beekeepers need “nucleus” colonies with a queen (“nucs”) to expand stock or replace overwintering losses in the early spring. Covid restrictions have demonstrated the need to develop systems that improve overwinter replacement stock without importing queens. Jerry Jerrard at Kawartha Lakes Honey recently developed an indoor facility and novel feeder system for overwintering nucs. This project will scientifically test the Jerrard system on 100 nucs from commercial beekeepers across Ontario. This project will make Canadian beekeeping more sustainable by improving the overwintering success of replacement stock.