A cold, wet spring and summer on the Prairies took a devastating toll on honey production this year in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Statistics Canada reports.
Production in Alberta, the largest honey-producing province in Canada, fell by 35 per cent to 25.1 million pounds, which was the lowest level since 2000, according to the federal agency. Manitoba’s production fell by 1.9 per cent and Saskatchewan’s by 1.4 per cent.
“Since 2000, about four-fifths of the annual honey production in Canada has come from these three Prairie provinces,” said StatsCan.
Overall, honey production in Canada was down 15.4 per cent from a year earlier to 80.4 million pounds in 2019. It’s the lowest level in seven years.
“The number of beekeepers in Canada fell by 317 from a year earlier to 10,344 in 2019.” Although Alberta produces the most honey, more than half of the beekeepers in Canada are in British Columbia (2,763) and Ontario (2,506).
“Bees in British Columbia and Ontario are valued more for their pollination of fruits and vegetables than for their honey production. In fact, the 5,269 beekeepers in these two provinces combined produced less than half the amount of honey produced by the 1,474 beekeepers in Alberta in 2019. The number of bee colonies in Canada was down 2.1 per cent from a year earlier to 773,182 in 2019.”