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Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4


Vol. 104 No.5


CANADA POST


Postage paid Publications Mail 40012122


POSTES CANADA


Port payé Post-Publications


Livestock ALR


Labour


New meat producer association launched Province urged to regulate house size MacAulay grilled over farm labour issue


9


13 21


PLANTING TIME! SPRING IS


1-888-770-7333 Quality Seeds ... where quality counts!


The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 MAY 2018 | Vol. 104 No. 5 Fraser Valley bee shortage overstated


Farmers, apiarists respond to claim of hive shortage and poor health


by SEAN HITREC


DELTA – BC blueberry farmers and some apiarists were left scratching their heads after it was reported that there would be a sizable bee shortage in the Fraser Valley this spring. In April, the Vancouver Sun reported that beekeepers, including “major operators from Alberta,” were refusing to send their colonies to the Fraser Valley this year due to health and honey yield concerns. The article said the high- alkaline levels of blueberry pollen, a lack of variety in forage to make a balanced diet and possible contamination from fungicides used in blueberry fields were to blame. When the bees returned to Alberta, they underperformed. While the concerns may have some


BC Blueberry Council chair Jack Bates says he’s had no problem sourcing hives this year to pollinate the 90 acres of blueberries he grows in Delta. The bees are essential to ensuring good yields. SEAN HITREC PHOTO


validity, blueberry farmers say the correlation between healthy bees and healthy crop yields is what makes their operations work. “Bee health is important to every [blueberry] grower that I've talked to


See BEE on next page o


FREE PTO PUMP Still waiting: ag waste regs watertecna.com


by PETER MITHAM VICTORIA – Growers across


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1.888.675.7999 IRRIGA TION L TD Growing more with less water


the province are eagerly awaiting release of the final text of a new agricultural waste control regulation (AWCR), removing uncertainties around practices from manure handling to how certain materials are stored. The latest push to overhaul


the AWCR is set to complete by May 31, the day the current sitting of the legislature adjourns for the summer.


Review of the regulation,


originally adopted in 1992 and last amended in 2008, began in October 2009. Three intentions papers have been released to date, with the latest published last November alongside a review of the province’s handling of nitrate contamination in the Hullcar aquifer. Deadline for comment was


January 15 and the province expected to wrap up the review and announce changes to the regulation by spring 2018. BC Ministry of Environment staff anticipate


publishing a summary report in early May.


The latest intentions paper


attracted “approximately 75 responses,” the ministry said. Staff told Country Life in BC that feedback was “generally supportive of the proposed direction.” Conservation-minded


groups such as the Islands Trust urged consistency between various provincial regulations regarding stream setbacks to protect fish. Meanwhile, farm groups


See MANURE on next page o


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