Beekeeping in Canada
Humans have been collecting honey for about 10,000 years and have been beekeeping for 9,000 of those. The domestication of bees can be seen in Egyptian artwork and honey jars were often found in tombs, including the tomb of Tutankhamun or King Tut. To this day, honey and other bee products are common household items that most of us use almost daily, making beekeeping an essential job.
Honeybees are essential for the pollination of the fruits, vegetables, and other plants that we need to survive around the world. Without bees, the plants that are pollinated by them would go away, and along with them, all the animals that depend on those plants. This would then create a domino effect as more animals become extinct. The world would struggle to support our population and things will only get worse from there.
Beekeeping can help bees in various ways including providing protection from predators and access to plenty of food, managing bee populations, and even allowing for healthier bees.
Canadian Beekeeping Industry
The honey industry is valued at seven billion U.S. dollars, which does not include other products that come from beekeeping. Canada plays a large role in this industry with over 7,000 beekeepers and 600,000 colonies, a majority of which are in the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
These beekeepers and their colonies produce about 75 million pounds of Canada honey annually which is small potatoes when it comes to Canada’s output of canola oilseed and blueberries.
Canada is the world’s #1 ranked canola producer with around 12.6 million tons pollinated canola oilseed, and #2 ranked blueberry production with approximately 35,000 colonies of bees designated for blueberry pollination.
Concerns with Canadian Beekeeping
Due to the cold winters in Canada, beekeepers can lose 25% of the population of their hives. Some beekeepers have resorted to moving their hives indoors to help them survive the winter while others have chosen to use different insulating methods in hopes to cut down on population losses.
In 2017, a research project began between York University and the University of British Columbia. As a part of the project, led by bee genomics experts, a new platform for health diagnoses in living bees is being developed with support from Ontario Genomics and Genome Canada.
Despite the hardships, Canadian beekeepers passionately raise their hives and support their communities. There are a great number of local and regional organizations that provide tools and support as well as local knowledge to any budding Canadian beekeeper.
Hiveology, a Sustainable Apiculture Company
At Hiveology, we are proud to practice cruelty-free methods of beekeeping while employing gentle and effective sustainable organic treatments. Our goal is to raise awareness in our eco systems and to improve the health of the honeybees while increasing their population locally. Our Beehive equipment is locally made and wax dipped to provide the bees with a bacteria and fungal resistant environment giving them the best chance for survival and healthy reproduction.