May 29 has been proclaimed Day of the Honey Bee in BC.
In a media release, the provincial ministry of agriculture recognized the role honey bees and native pollinators play in the province’s agricultural industry, and in the lives of residents.
“Honey bees and native pollinators may be small in size, but their everyday role in the lives of British Columbians is big and can be seen throughout the province,” stated agriculture minister Lana Popham. “Whether they’re pollinating crops for our agricultural sector or providing BC honey, bees are important to each and every one of us. Through programs like Bee BC, we are ensuring the health of honey bees for future generations.”
Blueberry Commons Farm Cooperative in Powell River is planting one hectare (2.5 acres) with diverse forage crops for pollinators, and holding tours and engaging with schools and community groups to promote the importance of increasing forage for honey bees and pollinators. The funding will also help support a mentoring program for beekeeping in the community.
“The support of the grant from Bee BC allows us to cultivate 2.5 acres of our grass covered farm land into diverse forage for bees, which is really needed in the Powell River region,” stated Blueberry Commons affiliate member Darcy Kaltio. “It's going to be beautiful. The educational signage will be an easy way for visitors to our farm to learn how they, too, can plant bee forage plants at home.”
The Bee BC program provides funding to regional and community-based projects that support the health of BC’s bees. The fund provides support to research, explore, field test and share information about best management practices associated with bee health, with the latest funding supporting 15 new projects throughout BC. The program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.
As crop pollinators and honey producers, honey bees and native pollinators have a critical role in BC’s sustainable food system, contributing an estimated $538 million to the provincial economy. Across Canada, honey bees and native pollinators have an economic contribution estimated at over $3.2 billion.
To find out more about Bee BC, go to iafbc.ca/bee-bc/.