Times are tough all over - even the honey industry.
Beekeepers across Ontario, and indeed the country, are concerned about an unprecedented number of bee colony deaths in recent years that have left many honey producers wondering if they're going to remain in the business.
About five years ago, western Canadian beekeepers began reporting unprecedented winter losses in their hives. Apiaries in the United States were hit hardest, with some reporting up to 90 per cent of their bees dying off. Canada emerged from the crisis a little better, with producers losing up to 30 per cent each year.
Dubbed colony collapse disorder, the decline has been linked to the parasitic Varroa mite, the Nosema parasite and a tricky combination of environmental factors.
Marc Levac, a honey producer in Glengarry County, was spared a colony collapse this season.
The owner of Levac Apairies said he had just an 11 per cent loss this winter - the best he's ever experienced since getting into the business six years ago.
But his good fortune is tempered with a large dose of caution.
"I'm trying to remain cautiously optimistic," he said in an interview. "I've seen anywhere from 40 to 70 per cent losses in the past."
Levac said the fact that honey producers don't know exactly what it is that is killing bees makes it difficult to rememdy the problem.
"I would love nothing more than to know this is some kind of genetic weakeness," said Levac, adding then something could be done to address that specific problem. "But that is me dreaming in technicolour."
Some bee keepers, who spoke before a House of Commons agriculture committee earlier this year, are suggesting the problem lies in agriculture - more specifically, pesticides.
The beekeepers are worried neo-nicotinoid pesticides - used extensively on corn crops - are linked to the poisonings. And while the evidence isn't conclusive, France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia have all restricted use of those pesticides in a bid to protect pollinating insects.
Levac said regardless of the problem, the fact is many beekeepers are concerend about the future and almost everyone has been hit hard.
"I can't think of one beekeeper who hasn't had at least one really bad year out of the last five," he said. "It would be really sad if we couldn't do this anymore."