Released on December 12, 2023
Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced $1 million in support today for commercial beekeepers in the province who were impacted by abnormally high colony losses in 2022.
The funding, provided through the AgriRecovery program, addresses losses exceeding 30 per cent in honeybee colonies across Saskatchewan in 2022 due to widespread dry conditions, colder than normal overwinter temperatures, and higher incidences of varroa mite activity. Saskatchewan joins Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario in providing assistance to beekeepers who lost stock and colonies.
“Bees play a vital role in pollinating so many of our crops and are integral to the success of our Canadian agricultural system,” said MacAulay. “We want to ensure this industry remains strong, and this funding through AgriRecovery will help offset some of the challenges the honey bee sector in Saskatchewan has faced recently.”
"Commercial beekeeping operations have a critical role in our ecosystem and are also integral to Saskatchewan's agriculture industry, pollinating crops while being responsible for roughly one-fifth of Canada's honey production," Marit said. "This assistance covers up to 70 per cent of the costs related to replacing lost stock and colonies and is the most efficient option for helping restore commercial production."
On average, Saskatchewan is home to about 100,000 colonies, which produce almost 20 million pounds of honey each year.
"Beyond their obvious economic contributions through honey production and crop pollination, bees have a unique natural role as the unsung heroes of not only the agriculture industry but the ecosystems in which we live and work," Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission President Nathan Wendell said. "This support is greatly appreciated, and will assist impacted provincial beekeepers as they continue to rebuild their operations, restore the viability of their colonies and resume their important contributions to a balanced and thriving environment."
AgriRecovery is a federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework to help agricultural producers with the extraordinary costs associated with recovering from disaster situations. AgriRecovery initiatives are cost-shared on a 60:40 basis between the federal government and participating provinces or territories, as outlined under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP).
For more information, please visit Canada – Saskatchewan Beekeeper Extraordinary Expense Program | Programs for Farmers and Ranchers | Government of Saskatchewan
For more information, contact:Jamie Shanks
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada