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Fewer bees, 20-30 per cent less honey production in Sask. after harsh winter and spring

Saskatchewan beekeepers are facing a 20 to 30 per cent drop in honey production this year after a harsh winter and spring took their toll on the province's honey bee numbers.
Saskatchewan beekeepers are facing a 20 to 30 per cent drop in honey production this year after a harsh winter and spring took their toll on the province's honey bee numbers. AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

Saskatchewan beekeepers are facing a 20 to 30 per cent drop in honey production this year after a harsh winter and spring took their toll on the province’s honey-bee numbers.

The Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission said there was a 35 to 40 per cent kill rate in hives.

READ MORE: Southern Sask. U-pick garden has low berry yields but healthy bees

There are about 100,000 bee colonies in the province operated by approximately 1,000 beekeepers.

Commission president Simon Lalonde said beekeepers will rebuild but will have a lean year with the expected reduction.

READ MORE: How you can help save the bees this spring

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He said crop production, particularly canola, could decline four to 10 per cent due to smaller numbers of the pollinating insect.

Saskatchewan produces about 25 per cent of Canada’s honey crop, or more than 8.6-million kilograms annually.

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