Recipient: NOD Apiary Products
Region: Frankford, Ontario
Program: Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP); Southern Ontario Forum for Investment in Innovation (SOFII)
Total funding received: $525,000
It’s hard to imagine that the functioning of global ecosystems could depend on one tiny creature. But bees, as pollinators, actually play a large role in maintaining the world’s food supply. NOD Apiary Products, the honey bee health specialists, recognizes this and strives to protect the crucial contributors’ habitat and life expectancy. Thanks to funding received through FedDev Ontario’s Eastern Ontario Development Program and the southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII), the company was able to develop and market a product that works to safeguard bee populations, protecting them from the significant threat of the Varroa mite.
“It is very rewarding to see our Canadian, rural Ontario company developing into a key player in global food security,” says David VanderDussen, CEO of NOD Apiary Products. “The FedDev Ontario funding and business support we received are helping us through this growth period.”
Located in Frankford, Ontario, NOD Apiary Products created its Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) in response to the invasive parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, a pest that arrived in Canada shortly after the company’s creation in 1997. Since a sustainable method for controlling the prolific mites did not exist, and since bees have no natural defense against them, beekeepers were facing an enormous issue. Along with two partners, VanderDussen used his beekeeping background to come up with a feasible solution.
So how exactly did they go about tackling such a significant problem? And how did MAQS come to be such a unique and sought after product in the industry?
“Considering the options, we decided to work on developing safe delivery systems for dispersing formic acid vapours inside the bee hive,” says VanderDussen. “Formic acid is an organic acid that is naturally occurring in honey. Mites are more susceptible to formic acid vapours than honeybees, which is why we can use it to control varroa.”
As a result, MAQS were born, quickly becoming popular not only in Canada, but also in twenty two other countries that NOD Apiary Products now has market access to, including the U.S. and New Zealand. This company’s revolutionary product is tackling real-world issues and succeeding—something that shows just how important investing in innovation is to those in southern Ontario and across the globe.