On March 14, 2021 the ASBPC had the privilege to host Assistant Deputy Minister for Primary Agriculture, John Conrad at their regular meeting. Since December 2021, the ASBPC has been following up on the responses to Resolution 6-20 Beehive Depredation received from Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development (AFRED) and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).
The responses received in 2020 indicated that consultations with producers were ongoing and that there would be an announcement in 2021 regarding this resolution. However by December 2021 the ASBPC could find no evidence of an announcement addressing the resolution on the AFSC website or in the media so reached out directly to AFSC and the AFRED for a follow up response. The Committee also reached out to the Alberta Beekeepers Commission to see if they knew of an upcoming announcement or had any feedback on the resolution.
The Alberta Beekeepers Commission had been engaging with AFSC at the program level to work on this issue but had received no official announcement. Working with the Beekeepers Commission and ASB beekeeper members, this issue was discussed at the ADM Townhall on December 13, then with the minister of AFRED on January 25, and again with ADM John Conrad on March 14 at the ASBPC meeting. The Alberta Beekeepers Commission provided a briefing on this issues that was included with a follow up letter to the meeting with the AFRED minister on January 25, 2022.
ADM John Conrad was happy to announce to the ASBPC that AFSC is pursuing adding bear damage to hives to the existing AFSC Wildlife Damage Compensation Program with a target implementation in 2023. The Alberta Beekeepers Commission is being engaged to find a way to adjust damage easily so it can be quickly cleaned up to prevent subsequent damages from multiple visits.
The ASBPC will continue to pursue the possibility of adding Beehive Depredation coverage under the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program managed by Alberta Environment and Parks.