News Archives: MPI Scientist visits GPRC NBDC
Thursday, September 29th, 2016
GPRC welcomed Dr. Richard Hall, Senior Virology Scientist of New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to campus this summer while visiting Grande Prairie for a tour of GPRC’s National Bee Diagnostic Centre (NBDC) in Beaverlodge, AB.
Dr. Hall was visiting on behalf of MPI, who is commencing a similar bee survey as the one in progress at the GPRC NBDC, to identify the range and prevalence of bee pathogens present in New Zealand.
“Over the span of three years, our research is going to produce a focused and detailed study that will give us insights on pathogens in New Zealand and how they impact apiary productivity,” said Hall. “It’s important that we ensure our diagnostic methods are consistent with the methods used internationally at other specialist bee centres.”
GPRC’s relationship with MPI first developed when GPRC Research & Innovation Applied Scientist and GPRC NBDC Manager, Dr. Carlos Castillo attended the National Apiculture Conference in New Zealand in June 2016. Dr. Castillo first connected with Dr. Lou Gallagher, MPI’s Project Lead on this research initiative.
“I first learned about Carlos as a researcher when he went out of his way and came to visit our centre in Wellington,” says Dr. Hall. “He was able to bring us insights and answer questions about what GPRC NBDC does, which is proving extremely helpful.”
GPRC NBDC is the first comprehensive laboratory in Canada to provide a full array of diagnostic services for honeybee pests, pathogens, and parasites. The centre provides diagnostic services for beekeepers, researchers, agencies and industry with the aim to contribute towards a healthy, sustainable and profitable apiculture in Canada. Additionally, the NBDC is one of 25 Technology Access Centres (TAC) funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
“Having centres like GPRC’s NBDC is a necessity because of how important their work is,” says Dr. Hall. “What’s happening with bee hives is a general public concern, and for GPRC NBDC to be able to house research and information to come up with solutions and next steps is huge and provides the public with this knowledge. GPRC NBDC is really reassuring us that honeybees are being looked after.”
GPRC is looking forward to working with MPI and researchers like Dr. Hall and Dr. Gallagher to ensure research methods are being adapted and produced at the highest quality, while also ensuring a consistency in results between international laboratory operations.
“We’re very thankful to GPRC, Carlos and the rest of the GPRC NBDC team,” says Dr. Hall. “It’s very important to us to have this human connection in our research partnership. We are looking forward to working together and keeping this communication and connection strong.”
Click here to learn more about GPRC NBDC and MPI.