Social Evening 2020 “Wintering Bees – but not as we know it!”

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Social Evening 2020 “Wintering Bees – but not as we know it!”

22nd October 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Our annual Social Evening lecture will take place on Thursday 22nd October, during the National Honey Show.

Our lecturer will be Dr. Medhat Nasr, speaking from Alberta, Canada.  He will be talking about the ways in which Canadian bee-keepers deal with the really harsh winters experienced on the Canadian Prairies.

This Social Evening talk will be a part of the virtual National Honey Show this year;  Register for the National Honey Show and gain access to all events, including this talk.  Simply be on-line at 6.30pm on Thursday and join the live-stream.  Register for the whole Show from the NHS website.

Wintering Bees on the Canadian Prairies

In recent years honey bees across the globe have been challenged from a variety of stressors including the varroa mite, Varroa destructor, nosemosis, lack of nutrition, exposure to pesticides and climate change. These stressors can act singularly or interactively, causing high bee mortality, increased cost of production, and declined supply of healthy bees for crop pollination.

Canadian winter apiary

Canadian Winter Apiary

In Canada, we have another unpredictable stressor. It is called “winter”. The honey bees kept in Canadian Prairies are of temperate origin. Prairie beekeepers have to manage them to survive a long cold winter (over 5 months). These management practices simply take advantage of the bees’ ability to thermoregulate their clusters. Many beekeepers around the world think that Canadian Prairie beekeepers winter their bees in igloos, but over 65-70% of the bees are wintered outdoors, 20-25% wintered indoors (wintering facilities) and 10% wintered in Southern British Columbia, Canada.

Wintering practices in Canadian Prairies require special considerations to details and requirements to colony health and conditions. These practices will be discussed.


Dr. Medhat Nasr is a Canadian apiculturist, educator and regulator with over 50 years of experience in both the public and private sector.  He served as Alberta Provincial Apiculturist for 19 years. In 1994 he was the first to introduce the concept of “Apiculture Tech-Transfer program” and established the first program in Ontario as a vehicle to do applied research and technology transfer to beekeepers.

His expertise encompasses a wide diverse range of skills including pest management, bee breeding, beekeeping management, and technology development and transfer.  Research program resulted in developing formic acid registration for tracheal and varroa mite control (i.e. MiteWipe, Mite_Away, and Mite_Away2), Oxalic acid for Varroa treatment, HopGuard2 and Apivar® for varroa treatment. Currently, he continues to screen and develop alternative miticides for varroa control and management of resistance.

Medhat has passion for teaching. He has conducted many seminars and workshops and has given presentations at many conferences throughout Canada, United States, EU, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan and Argentina.

He received numerous awards for his contributions to the apiculture field in Canada and USA. In 2019 was awarded by the Canadian Honey Council “Willy Baumgartner Memorial Award” for outstanding contributions in improving the Canadian beekeeping industry. In 2018 he was awarded Outstanding Service Award by the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA). He was awarded “Roger A Morse Teaching, Extension, Regulatory Award” by the Eastern Apiculture Society- USA in 2015 and he was also awarded “Fred Rathje Memorial Award” by the Canadian Honey Council in 2010. Most recently, Medhat served as President of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists from 2013 to 2017.

He earned B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Cairo University, Giza, Egypt and Ph. D. from University of California, Davis in Entomology – Apiculture.


22nd October 2020
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST


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Sue Carter