Canadian Honey Council/ Beekeepers in Canada
There are approximately 7,000 beekeepers in Canada operating a total of 600,000 colonies of honeybees. The ratio of commercially operated bee colonies to those owned by hobbyists is 80:20 and the reverse is true for the number of operators i.e 20% of the beekeepers maintain 80% of the colonies.
The prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the major honey producers in Canada. Approximately 475,000 colonies are located in the prairie provinces and they produce 80% of Canada’s crop.
Commercial prairie beekeepers maintain 500 – 13,000 colonies per beekeeper with an average 2,000 colonies.
Pollination of hybrid canola is important in Alberta where 80,000 colonies are required for seed production.
Eastern Canada and BC
6 provinces have 70% of Canada’s beekeepers. Commercial beekeepers in Eastern and BC beekeepers operate small to medium size operations of 50-5,000 colonies with average 600 colonies for the commercial beekeeper.
The majority of commercial beekeepers in these provinces are involved with pollination services for the horticulture industry particularly blueberries and apples.
Honeybees are vital for the pollination of fruit, vegetables and hybrid canola seed. Well pollinated crops produce more fruit and honey bees increase production by 2-8 times.
The value of honeybees to pollination of crops is estimated at over $2 billion annually.
Credits: Canadian Honey Council
Tired Bees…You Can Help
Did you know you can help a tired bee?
If you find a bee that appears to be struggling, the best thing to do is put it on a bee-friendly flower. If there are no bee-friendly flowers around an energy boosting sugar drink may be in order. Mix WHITE sugar and water 50/50 and offer a few drops to the front end of the bee, place in a teaspoon or bottle cap. Do this in a sheltered place to give the bee protection and time to recuperate.
Read more about Beezy Wrap here