Busy Bees

The Alberta way of Life

Alberta has about 60,000 hives used specifically to pollinate crops – the largest number in Canada – and about 230,000 overall, including honey production!

The largest operations, some into more than 10,000 hives, are in southern Alberta, close to the hybrid canola fields.  Hybrid canola needs bees to pollinate it because there are male and female plants.  Regular canola is self-pollinating.

The value of crops pollinated by honey bees is $1 billion in Canada and $350 million in Alberta.

The Peace River area produces 4.5 million kg. of honey per year which is 40% of Canada’s production.

Alberta hives produce nearly 100 kg. of mild, white honey per year, more than twice the world average!  The honey comes from clover, alfalfa and canola.

The number of hives is expected to double to 100,000 over the next 5 years for pollination as farmers cash in on the growing demand for canola as a “healthy” oilseed and the emerging bio-fuel industry.