The Nova Scotia government is giving $100,000 to the province’s Blueberry Pollination Expansion Program to support blueberry growers who keep bees to pollinate their crops.
“Beekeepers’ pollination services are essential to the production of blueberries and other crops in Nova Scotia,” said Minister of Agriculture Greg Morrow.
“To grow more blueberries, we need more bees to pollinate the plants – it’s that simple.”
Blueberry growers can apply for funding to help expand the number of hives they keep or purchase equipment to improve efficiency in their bee operations.
The province says eligible applicants must:
The province says successful applicants can get up to $100 per hive to cover beehive expenses and up to $50,000 for efficiency improvement between April 1 and Dec. 31.
“Many Indigenous bee species already contribute to wild blueberry pollination – but there aren’t enough to allow for dramatic growth in the sector,” said Jason Sproule, with the Department of Agriculture, in a news release.
“Many beekeepers rent their hives to provide pollination service, but demand is growing. This funding will allow more growers to maintain their own hives for pollination.”
The province says the Blueberry Pollination Expansion Program has been in place for two years and has a budget of $350,000. It’s one of 14 Canadian Agricultural Partnership programs now accepting applications for 2022.
Currently, Nova Scotia has 700 blueberry farms.
The province says blueberry growers sold more than 22 million kilograms, or 49 million pounds, of blueberries last year, generating revenue of $39.2 million.
More details on the program can be found on the province’s website.