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    Beekeepers in Ontario  are reporting ‘heartbreaking’ colony losses due to the varroa mites. Some of the beekeepers provide pollination services to orchards in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. Ramin Abdollahi said he remembers opening up his hive this spring, only to find a pile of dead honey bees at the bottom. 

    He said “It is very, very heartbreaking,” Abdollahi lives in Kitchener and keeps his hives at a farm near Shakespeare, Ontario. He is not alone, beekeepers across the province are reporting losses up to 90 per cent of their colonies, according to the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association. Not only is this an issue for honey producers, but some beekeepers provide pollination services to orchards in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

    President of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association said “We’re really worried that we won’t have enough bees” The main culprit for all these deaths is believed to be a tiny parasite called varroa mite. According to Paul Kelley, a research and apiary manager at the University of Guelph Honey Bee Research Centre said mites feed on bees’ blood and protein reserves, and can spread viruses among the colony. 

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