Right now there are 7000 beekeepers, mostly family farms in Canada who tend to 600,000 hives of honeybees and depend on them to make a living. Canadians produce 75 million pounds of honey annually. Approximately 1/3 is produced in Alberta, 1/3 in Saskatchewan & Manitoba, and 1/3 from the rest of the country. Annually we produce more than enough honey to supply our domestic demand and then some!
But we are now in danger of losing the family farm. Canada’s largest honey packer, Billy Bee, and their international corporate parent McCormick have all but stopped buying Canadian honey. Instead they choose to import cheaper honey from countries like China and Argentina and blend them with just enough Canadian honey so that they can still say Canadian on the bottle simply to improve their bottom line. There is definitely no shortage of Canadian honey!
Right now, there are beekeepers in Canada who are unable to sell their crops, or must do so below cost and are quickly becoming bankrupted. Some will be unable to provide sufficient spring feed for their bees and their bees may diebefore they get a chance to make this years honey crop. Some may be forced to close their doors and move off the farm. But not for lack of trying, it is estimated that there may be nearly half of last years honey crop still sitting unsold in storage across the country, all the while cheap imported honey is being put on your grocery shelves first or blended to stretch out supply and cheapen the ingredients. Hard working beekeepers deserve to have their honey bottled and available for Canadian consumers before any other honey is imported and sold inside of our own country.
Image courtesy of beeculture.com