Kelly, who has worked with bees for more than three decades, explained that the threats to bee health have changed vastly over that time. He said bee populations have been hit hard in recent years by parasitic varroa mites that are dangerous enough on their own but also transmit deadly infections.
The current facilities of the Honey Bee Research Centre include a molecular biology laboratory for bee genetics and diseases; 13 apiaries for 300 beehives; an indoor colony overwintering room; and breeding stations on two islands in Lake Simcoe.
With the HBRC’s role in bee health research becoming increasingly important, plans are under way to build a new, larger research centre for bee health education, research, advocacy and outreach.
Kelly and the Honey Bee Research Centre offer several beekeeping videos on their YouTube channel, as well as regular tours of the centre throughout the summer and fall. More information is available on the website.