The Province of BC looks to support local honey producers, bees and keepers alike, by announcing a new round of funding through their Bee BC program, supporting BC’s hard working pollinators.
In a recent press release, the Province officially announced May 29 as ‘Day of the Honey Bee,’ marking the 69th anniversary of explorer and notable beekeeper Sir Edmund Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest. Simultaneously extending the Bee BC program, a fund for projects that promote bee health in BC, the government hopes to support the pollinators that it says contribute an estimated $250 million annually to the provincial economy.
“Honey bees and pollinators may be tiny but they contribute so much to our food supply, our ecosystem and our daily lives,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food.
“I’m passionate about supporting B.C. bees and our amazing beekeepers, and I am thrilled we are extending the Bee BC programs so we can continue to see community projects around the province that promote bee health while boosting our food security and food economy at the same time.”
So far, Bee BC has funded over 90 research, hive sustainability and public awareness and education based projects by local non-profit organizations and individual beekeepers. The latest round of funding opened for intake on May 30, and will award up to $7000 per project this time around.
According to the government, beekeepers in BC last year managed 62,000 colonies in the province that produced nearly two million kilograms of honey. The extension of the Bee BC program hopes to see this number increase, as well as an increase in awareness about the important role of bees in the ecosystem.
The announcement comes less than a year after the Bee Tech Transfer program was announced by the same government, which provides $525,000 over three years for education, applied research and other services to beekeepers in BC.
“Bee BC and the Bee Tech Transfer program are welcome efforts by the Province to improve bee health and reduce honey bee losses,” said Heather Higo, president, BC Honey Producers Association (BCHPA).
“This translates into better food security for British Columbians, through improved food systems and gives beekeepers access to important tools and support in their continued efforts to keep bees safe.”
For more information, or to apply to the latest intake of Bee BC, visit iafbc.ca/bee-bc/.