Saskatoon beekeeper marks ‘Day of the Honey Bee’

SASKATOON – The declining number of honey bees worldwide has prompted a Saskatoon enthusiast to start an initiative to help save the insect.

The sound of honey bees swarming around a hive is sweet to Dr. F. Barry Brown.

The beekeeper started with two hives 40 years ago and now has 800.

Brown lost 16 percent of his hives this year, the year before he lost 80. He’s not the only beekeeper struggling.

“Some of the beekeepers have lost 90 per cent of their stock, so bees are at a premium right now,” said Brown.

“We had a sale last week where the hives sold for $550, usually they sell for 275 to 300, so price of honey up, the mortality up results in a death of bees.”

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In recent years there has been a lot of emphasis put on keeping the pollinators alive, so much so that a Saskatoon enthusiast has been a busy bee.

“Day of the honey bee is first and foremost an awareness campaign but underneath all that it will be a day around which a lot of group and agencies and organizations can collect and galvanize in a single purpose to protect the animal,” said Clinton Ekdahl, founder of day of the honey bee.

He has stacks of proclamations from 30 per cent of Canadian municipalities bringing awareness to the problem.

May 29th marks the annual Day of the Honey Bee in Saskatchewan and certain locations around the country.

Local beekeepers and members of the public are expected to be at the Roxy Theatre Wednesday night for a showing of the documentary “Mystery of the Disappearing Honey Bees” with reaction to follow.