New numbers from Statistics Canada confirm Alberta as the top honey producing province in Canada.
â€œAlberta produced 42.8 million pounds in 2015, which up 20.4 per cent from 35.5 million pounds in 2014,â€ says Medhat Nasr, provincial apiculturist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Edmonton. â€œAs well, yields rose from 125 pounds to 145 pounds per colony.â€
Nasr says Alberta was also the top province for bee colony numbers in 2015 with over 295,000 colonies. â€œWinter mortality was also the lowest in the past 15 years, at about 10 per cent. That compares to the national average of a 16 per cent loss and the American average of 23 per cent.â€
Farm cash receipts from honey sales in Alberta are approximately $75 million per year, in addition to $12 million per year from pollination service fees. The market value of honey bee contributions to the pollination of pedigree hybrid canola and canola crop production is estimated to be $650 million per year in Alberta.
Canadian beekeepers producedÂ 95.3Â million pounds of honey inÂ 2015, upÂ 11.4% fromÂ 2014. There wereÂ 8,533Â beekeepers inÂ 2015,Â 365Â less than inÂ 2014.
The total value of honey roseÂ 10.9% fromÂ 2014Â to $232.0Â million as a result of increased production. The average price of honey was stable at $2.43Â per pound.
On average, each colony had a yield ofÂ 132Â pounds of honey,Â 9Â pounds more than inÂ 2014.
The number of colonies roseÂ 3.6% fromÂ 696,252Â toÂ 721,106. This increase was attributable to favourable weather conditions that reduced winter losses, particularly in the Prairie provinces.
In Saskatchewan, honey production increased fromÂ 16.5Â million pounds inÂ 2014Â toÂ 18.8Â million pounds inÂ 2015, as a result of more colonies and higher yields.
In Manitoba, although yields were lower, production rose fromÂ 14.1Â million pounds inÂ 2014Â toÂ 16.0Â million pounds. This increase was attributable to more honey-producing colonies in the province inÂ 2015.