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Federal Investment Strengthens Alberta’s Position as a Global Leader in Bee Agricultural Technology

October 14, 2011
Grande Prairie, Alberta

Alberta is poised to become a global leader in beekeeping research and diagnostic technology thanks to an investment from the federal government.

Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, today announced an investment of $1,193,500 for Grande Prairie Regional College to create the National Bee Diagnostic Centre at the Beaverlodge Research Farm.

Our Government recognizes the important economic impact of the bee and honey industry on communities throughout Alberta and across the West,” said MP Warkentin. “Today’s investment towards establishing the National Bee Diagnostic Centre will help ensure the continued health of this key sector while fostering the continued growth of beekeeping businesses.

Federal funding will be used for capital expenses, including a mobile trailer and related diagnostic equipment. The National Bee Diagnostic Centre will be managed by Grande Prairie Regional College and will complement the College’s Beekeeper Technician Program.

This funding is very welcome news for our region and for our College,” said Don Gnatiuk, GPRC President and CEO. “More than that, this project is of great importance to food production industries throughout the country. We are privileged to be a participant in this significant scientific project, and fully committed to its success.

The Centre is expected to perform approximately 1,500 diagnostic services each year for businesses and other clients. These services will help increase the growth, international competitiveness and profitability of this important industry.

The Centre, which is located next to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Beaverlodge Research Farm, will be the only one of its kind in Canada to offer a wide range of comprehensive services to beekeeping businesses all under one roof. It will focus on detecting and diagnosing the health of honey bees, providing scientific support to facilitate the importing and exporting of bees, and preventing or reducing winter losses.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.


The Government of Canada is investing over $1.1 million towards Grande Prairie Regional College to establish the National Bee Diagnostic Centre at the Beaverlodge Research Farm. Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River, announced the funding on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. The initiative is expected to contribute to the long-term profitability and competitiveness of the Canadian beekeeping industry.

For additional information, contact:

Donna Kinley, Manager, Consultations, Marketing & Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Edmonton, Alberta
Telephone: 780- 495-6892
Cellular: 780-991-7432

Lynne Ness, Corporate Communications Officer, Community Relations
Grande Prairie Regional College
Grande Prairie, Alberta
Telephone: 780-539-2951
Cellular: 780-296-6406

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