It’s good news for the honey bees and beekeepers of British Columbia, with the addition of two new bee inspectors hired to join the Province’s apiculture inspection team.
The new inspectors will provide support to the bee industry all over the province.
“Honey bees play a critical role in the daily lives of all British Columbians. As a former farmer, I know how much farmers rely on pollination to maintain their livelihoods,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “That’s why we are committed to providing support and we are increasing inspection services to beekeepers in the province to ensure the health of our honey bees.”
The two new bee inspectors have been appointed to the northwest region of the province. Based on the distribution of beekeepers in that area, one is assigned to the McBride-Prince George-Vanderhoof region, and the other to the Telkwa-Smithers-Terrace region. The provincial apiculture inspection team includes an additional eight inspectors who service the Fraser Valley (including Metro Vancouver), Kootenay, Shuswap-North Okanagan, South Okanagan-Similkameen/Kootenay-Boundary, Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands and Thompson-Cariboo-Central North regions.
"I think it is important for honey bee health to have consistent inspection of bee-colony sales throughout the province,” said Kerry Clark, president of the B.C. Honey Producers Association. “It is great that bee producers in the northwest will now have good access to inspectors."
The Ministry of Agriculture recently announced $25,000 in support to the B.C. Honey Producers Association. The funding will go toward researching bee health and pollination, through the program BeeBC. This partnership will help honey bee keepers face the challenges found in today’s environment, and help protect the health of the province’s bees.
To celebrate the honey bee and their significant contribution to modern-day agriculture, the provincial government is proclaiming May 29, 2018, as the Day of the Honey Bee.
- Bees play a major role in agriculture as pollinators of crops, contributing an estimated $550 million to the economy in B.C., and over $2 billion in Canada.
- Honey bees are involved in the production of over $250 million worth of fruit and field crops. Their sister species, the bumble bee, are used in the greenhouse industry, representing a value of close to $300 million per year.
- The B.C. government’s apiculture program has provided free support services to B.C.’s beekeepers for over 50 years, including apiary inspections, advice and materials, and laboratory services for the diagnosis of bee diseases.