Bees once again to get special day in May

Initiative raises awareness about plight of honey bee

Municipalities across Canada, including those in the Capital Region, are being asked to proclaim May 29 as Day of the Honey Bee.

Esquimalt council agreed at its meeting Monday night to make the proclamation, at the request of Clinton Ekdahl of Saskatoon, Sask., who initiated the Day of the Honey Bee campaign four years ago.

In a letter to council, Ekdahl said he began his crusade to raise awareness about honey bees, which he says are responsible for about 70 per cent of Canada’s food crop pollination.

According to B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture, about $200 million in agriculture production is dependent on honey bee pollination in the province each year.

“I am drawing attention to honey bees because they continue to disappear at unsustainable rates for unexplained reasons, not only in Canada, but in every country and across every continent where they are raised,” he wrote.

Last year, 163 municipal governments across Canada, as well as the B.C., Manitoba and Saskatchewan provincial governments, issued Day of the Honey Bee proclamations.

“As a result of this amazing support, more people learned about the plight of honey bees,” Ekdahl said.

Esquimalt Coun. Dave Hodgins applauded the initiative.

“Honey bees work extremely hard in support of food production for humans and farm animals through pollination,” he said. “The value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.”

emccracken@vicnews.com