Beekeepers around the province have another opportunity to apply for BeeBC funding to help with projects in their communities to support the health of bees in British Columbia.
“The BeeBC program is making it possible for our beekeepers to develop new and innovative ways to help our honey bees,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “A healthy population of honey bees and native pollinators in B.C. not only provides us with delicious locally-sourced honey, it supports our environment as well as our agriculture industry, so that British Columbians will have more B.C. products at their tables, now and for generations to come.”
Popham announced BeeBC is providing an additional $50,000 in funding to beekeepers in B.C. while attending the 2018 B.C. Honey Producers Association (BCHPA) annual general meeting in Victoria.
The initial round of funding for the program was announced during the Day of the Honey Bee in May 2018, with 11 projects now underway around the province. The projects range from educational programs and hands-on experience for youth, to studying queen bees and disease management in hives by local beekeepers.
“Pollination services from beekeepers increases the value of crops in B.C. by hundreds of millions of dollars a year," said Kerry Clark, president of the BCHPA. "The annual funding to the BCHPA that the minister had already announced enabled research designed to address critical bee health issues. This announcement today adds even more opportunity for a range of local honey bee related projects in communities throughout B.C.”
The BeeBC program provides funding to smaller-scale community-based projects that support the health of B.C.’s bees. The fund provides support to research, explore, field-test and share information about best management practices associated with bee health.
Popham also announced the further expansion of the Province’s apiary inspection team, noting that the East Kootenay region will soon have its own bee inspector assigned to the area to improve efficiency and responsiveness to bee-related service requests. The new addition, as well as two new inspectors hired last spring, makes the current team the largest and most comprehensive apiary inspection service the Apiculture Program has ever had in B.C.
The BeeBC program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation, on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.
- In late 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture provided $25,000 in funding to support research work on bee health and pollination.
- In May 2018, government announced an expanded investment of $100,000 to the BeeBC program.
- Honey bees play an important part of B.C.’s agriculture sector as pollinators of crops, contributing an estimated $538 million to the provincial economy.
- Across Canada, honey bees have an economic contribution estimated at over $3.2 billion.
- The B.C. Honey Producers Association represents the province's commercial, sideliner and hobbyist beekeepers and is one of Canada's oldest agricultural associations.