Apiculture [the study and management of honeybees] is popular in British Columbia and a vital industry guided by government regulations, the BC Honey Producer’s Association and apiary clubs. Professional beekeepers across the province have established thousands of domestic colonies for honey production and crop pollination and continue to educate the public on the importance of protecting bees as a species. Bees love native wildflowers like Golden Rod and Lupine, but did you know that bees, both domestic and wild, are important in the cycle of fruit production? Pollinators, largely domestic honeybees, are essential for the formation of fruit and the abundant crops produced in BC orchards.
BC’s forests are of priceless ecological value. They prevent soil erosion, affect rainfall, help control flooding and store and recycle nutrients for better health. We might not be aware that trees in our towns and cities provide a safe natural habitat for a vast number of animal species, including bees. Bees are crucial players across our province as they collect pollen from flowering trees and make honey. We all benefit from greater biodiversity and delicious food products. Bee health though, is a growing public concern as we become aware that they are threatened by deforestation, the use of pesticides, and diseases and parasites affecting colony loss. The 2019 CAPA [Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists] statement reported a 31% wintering loss across our province – starvation was the second most reported cause, the result of the inability of bees in weak colonies to store enough food during the fall. Apiculture specialists monitoring colonies across BC note that Varroa mite infestations continue to threaten our honeybees. Second to flowering fruit trees, decorative ornamentals on private land also create a food source for our friendly neighbourhood bees.
We encourage natural landscaping without the use of eco-damaging chemicals that kill bees and other beneficial insects. We are your partners in keeping BC orchards and backyard ornamentals healthy with monitoring, and pruning for growth. Call us to discuss our fruit tree pruning services available throughout southwest and central BC. We have offices in Kamloops, Gibsons/Sechelt and the Lower Mainland and specialize in tree pruning for increased crop yields and improved food security.
Further Reading: Backyard Ornamentals – Maple Trees