B.C. celebrates Day of the Honey Bee
VICTORIA – Honey bees may be tiny creatures, but their work has a big $200-million impact on farming in British Columbia. That’s why the Province is declaring May 29 Day of the Honey Bee in B.C, announced Minister of Agriculture Don McRae today in the Legislature.
Honey bees have been an important part of B.C. agriculture since they were introduced to the Americas by European settlers hundreds of years ago. Today, honey bee colonies remain critical to many of the crops British Columbians rely on for food, such as tree fruit, berries, and canola, and their impact on the economy is impressive:
- Approximately $200 million in agricultural production is dependent on honey bee pollination every year in this province. Across North America that number rises to $16 billion per year.
- An estimated 30,000 honey bee colonies are contracted to pollinate food crops on B.C. farms every growing season.
- Pollination activities are worth approximately $2.4 million annually to B.C. beekeepers.
Day of the Honey Bee recognizes how beekeepers and the Province are working together to continue to improve agricultural production and stabilize the apiculture industry. It also acknowledges beekeepers’ efforts to protect their colonies from environmental conditions and diseases that can affect honey bees.
Communities and provinces across Canada celebrate Day of the Honey Bee on May 29 each year in tribute to a famous beekeeper in history. On May 29, 1953 New Zealand beekeeper and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary became the first known climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest on the Nepal-Tibet border.
Minister of Agriculture Don McRae:
“The Province recognizes that beekeepers are indispensible to B.C.’s agriculture industries, whether they’re looking after large commercial operations or backyard colonies. Our ministry, Animal Health Lab, and bee specialist are committed to working with apiculturalists across the province, so honey bees can continue to fulfil their crucial role in farming.”
BC Honey Producers Association second vice president Barry Denluck:
”Although mankind has kept bees for thousands of years we have not tamed them. With increased knowledge we can learn to live alongside all wildlife. The BCHPA is proud to support Day of the Honey Bee initiated by Clinton Shane Ekdahl of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2009. Beekeepers will be sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge of honey bees at venues all across the province this weekend.”
Visit the BC Honey Producers Association online: http://www.bcbeekeepers.com/
For more information about B.C.’s apiculture industry see: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/apiculture/index.htm