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World Bee Day: The Importance of Bees
When you see a Bee around your yard or farm, Bee kind to it because Bees play an important role in keeping our ecosystems and all of us healthy. Just how important are Bees? Important enough to have the United Nations designate May 20th as World Bee Day. It’s a day officially set aside to reflect on the importance of Bees and help everyone play a more prominent role in keeping Bees safe and vibrant.
Alberta is in the fortunate position of being home to the largest beekeeping industry in Canada. We currently have over 315,000 bee colonies and the numbers are growing. With Alberta’s current honey bee numbers, our province has over 40% of Canada’s honey bees. As leaders in Beekeeping and Honey production, we’re fortunate to have a number of Apiculture Veterinarians who are looking out for the health and welfare of Bees in our province.
Dr. Eiry Spence of Alberta Bee Veterinary Services is one of a small group of Apiculture Veterinarians who are serving the industry here at home. She knows first hand about the challenges that the industry and Bee’s themselves are facing. “Honey bees are currently faced with more diseases and pests than ever before and native bees are declining at a terrifying rate,” says Dr. Spence. “Measuring and monitoring pests and bee populations is one of the most important steps in management of the overall health of honey bees and native bees alike.”
Whether you’re a professional BeeKeeper, an Apiculture Veterinarian or someone interested in the health of Bees, we can all play a role in keeping Bees populations healthy and prosperous. In commemoration of World Bee Day, the United Nations has provided some great tips to help us help Bees. The tips range from planting a diverse set of native plants, which flower at different times of the year and buying raw honey from local farmers to avoiding pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in our gardens, protecting wild bee colonies when possible, and even sponsoring a hive.
Bee-ing grateful to our pollinators: 6 ways to show our gratitude to bees, butterflies and other vital pollinators.
For more information, check out the Plight of the Bees for details on the issues honey and native bees are facing.
Commercial Beekeeping in Alberta
The Alberta Beekeepers Commission also offers helpful information and articles for the community and for producers as well as a list of Beekeeping Operations here in Alberta.
The ABVMA produced a series of live streams called the Raised With Care: Stewardship Sessions and one session was focused on Commercial Beekeeping in Alberta.