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NLBKA Scientific Advisory Committee

Current members

 Peter Armitage, Mary Laura Fitzgerald, Dr. Christian Alberto

Corresponding members

 Dr. Steve Walsh

Past members

Peter Armitage, Dr. Detlef Bieger, Dr. George Carayanniotis, Dr. Barry Hicks, Dr. Dan Price, Gerard Smith


Research Committee
Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association
429 Windgap Road,
Flatrock, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, A1K 1C4


NLBKA research priorities (pdf version)

Click here for a pdf version of the Scientific Advisory Committee's Terms of Reference and Modus operandi

Scientific Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Whereas the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association (NLBKA) requires scientific advice related to honey bees, wild pollinators, and beekeeping in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to facilitate understanding of domestic populations of Apis and non-Apis pollinator species and to promote sustainable beekeeping in the province;

Be it resolved that the NLBKA hereby establishes a Scientific Advisory Committee called the “Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association Scientific Advisory Committee” (SAC) with the following Terms of Reference.


The SAC comprises NLBKA members who, by virtue of their research backgrounds, expertise, skills, or other relevant experience can facilitate the SAC tasks. These include:

 Providing strategic, technical, and scientific reviews and advice to the NLBKA with respect to honey bee, wild pollinators, and beekeeping issues and policies;

  1.  Collaborating and informing the provincial government, research community, and honey bee associations and councils of the NLBKA’s strategic priorities and activities dealing with monitoring, safety and well-being of honey bees and wild pollinators in the province; and
  2.  Undertaking any other advisory tasks required by the NLBKA Board.


Membership in the SAC is open to members in good standing of the NLBKA.  At least one member of the SAC (“Member”) shall be a member of the Board.

A Corresponding Member is an honorary member of SAC, who has been invited to correspond their scientific contributions, and aid in carrying out the committee’s activities without taking part in its management.

When necessary, the SAC may recruit among the NLBKA membership people who can assist in its mandate. The upper limit of the number of the SAC members will be ascertained depending on the workload of current members.

No member of the NLBKA shall be a member of the SAC without the approval of the Board. The Board may remove or replace members of the SAC at any time at its discretion. 


Members with a conflict (or who think they may have a conflict) must disclose the conflict/potential for the conflict of interest to the SAC.  Members will recuse themselves from committee deliberations and are prohibited from voting on any committee decisions in which there is a conflict of interest. Should that person be the Chair, he or she may designate an alternate (neutral) member to chair the meeting or a portion thereof, upon consent of the majority of members.

The Chairperson of the SAC is the spokesperson for the committee, and will, in general, communicate with the Board, however, should it be necessary for a SAC member to speak to the Board on a specific research topic then the member(s) possessing the relevant expertise should be accompanied by the committee Chairperson, if it is deemed necessary.  

 All activities planned by the SAC shall be approved by the Board.

The SAC shall not communicate with the news media without the approval of the Board. Individual SAC members have a responsibility to notify the committee of any significant SAC related communications they intend to engage in as individuals to government or other entities. Members are expected to exercise their best judgment with respect to communications.

 Individual SAC members who intend to submit written communications, such as research articles, commentaries, etc. to the news media or journals should provide a draft of their communications to the other SAC members prior to submission. Members have 10 days to provide commentary regarding the communications to the author. After considering this feedback, and if there still remains a strong difference of opinion on the content of the communication then the author must emphasize in the article that the views expressed are solely their own and that they do not reflect the views of the SAC and/or NLBKA.

The SAC can at any time request the Board for a change in its Terms of Reference.


The SAC shall communicate and meet informally by way of e-mail, telephone, face-to-face meetings and other means to discuss and plan activities related to its purpose.  It shall communicate the content of its discussions and planning to the Board through its Chairperson and, when necessary, shall be accompanied by other member(s) of the SAC during the meetings of the Board or by other means.


No business matters shall be transacted at any meeting of the SAC unless a quorum of Members is present. The presence of fifty-percent (50%) plus one of the number of Members at the meeting, in person, or by telephone/conference call shall be a quorum. Business matters can be discussed via email but still require a quorum of responses for decisions to be made. The NLBKA President is an ex-officio member of the SAC whose presence at the meetings does not contribute to a quorum.

The SAC will reach decisions on the basis of consensus to the greatest extent possible.  However, where consensus cannot be reached, a vote of the members shall be taken, and a decision will be made on the basis of a majority vote.  The Chairperson shall have only one vote. Where there is a tie vote, the matter will be referred to the Board for resolution.


Scientific Advisory Committee Modus Operandi

The following describes the manner in which the Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association’s (NLBKA) Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) will conduct its affairs in keeping with its Terms of Reference (TOR).  The SAC is not a scientific peer review body; that is the responsibility of institutional and funding bodies, and subject to the ethics protocols of these same bodies. Nonetheless, the SAC encourages prospective researchers of NL bees to submit their Expression of Interest proposals to the SAC for review prior to sending them to funding agencies. A letter of support/endorsement from the NLBKA may provide “social license” to researchers, and facilitate their access to NLBKA members should their involvement in the proposed research be required. Furthermore, a letter of support could assist researchers in their efforts to secure funding.  Should it be necessary, the NLBKA/SAC may work cooperatively with researchers with respect to some types of joint funding (e.g., NGO, government funding, etc.).  Where possible, the SAC could also facilitate networking among researchers, and provide access to beekeeping expertise especially for researchers with little if any beekeeping experience.

The intent of the SAC is to review each Expression of Interest proposal to ensure that the research is credible and ethical, and that the methods and results will be public domain, after which the SAC will make its recommendation to the NLBKA Board with respect to supporting or not supporting the proposed research.


Submission Guidelines

Expression of Interest proposals (summary of the proposal, curriculum vitae, and a cover note highlighting relevant experience) should be made to:

Scientific Advisory Committee
Newfoundland and Labrador Beekeeping Association
429 Windgap Road,
Flatrock, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, A1K 1C4