In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of the honey bee, Clinton Ekdahl of Saskatchewan, started a Day of the Honey Bee campaign in 2009.
In 2011, both Saskatchewan and British Columbia adopted Day of the Honey Bee to be recognized on May 29 each year.
There has been growing concern about the state of honey bees as some naturalists and beekeepers believe that the insecticide neonicotinoid (NNI) is responsible for large losses of honey bees seen around the world.
On April 29, the European Union banned NNIs in an attempt to curb the declining populations. It is believed that NNI causes high mortality rates because it affects honey bees’ homing abilities. Honey bees are believed to pollinate about one-third of the world’s crops.
On May 9 and 10, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) heard from concerned beekeepers from across the country as well as from CropLife, an organization that represents developers, manufacturers and distributors of pesticides and bio-chemistry products.
Ekdahl was on hand to lobby for National Bee Day that would be observed annually on May 29. In his presentation Ekdahl said, “From its inception, I knew that creating a day in recognition of honeybees would be a necessary step to instill awareness of this crisis in the public.
“Indeed, over a quarter of this nation agrees with me. Within the last four years, proclamations dedicating May 29 as the Day of the Honey Bee have been received from abundant jurisdictions. The stack of original proclamations would indicate that public concern for the honeybee is growing. They also indicate that Canadians want to know what their government is doing to safeguard the honeybee, beekeepers, agriculture, food security, the economy, and the environment.”
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