Busy as Bees in Thunder Bay for Honey Bee Day

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beekeepersTHUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay, in conjunction with the Thunder Bay Beekeepers Association (TBBA), are pleased to proclaim Saturday, May 29 the first National Honey Bee Day. Thunder Bay joins 70 other Canadian municipalities in this proclamation to recognize the importance of the honey bee in our local food supply and environment.

National Honey Bee Day is a Canadian initiative, started one year ago by Clinton Shane Ekdahl, from Saskatoon, who was concerned about the world-wide decline in honey bee numbers with disastrous consequences for our food supply and the environment.  More than seventy large and small Canadian cities and towns have joined with their own proclamations.

“We should be proud that the many members of the TBBA have worked hard to keep our local bees mite and disease free, creating the only Ontario region that does not need an expensive annual cycle of harsh chemical treatments,” said Mayor Lynn Peterson.

For the past twenty-four years, the Association has educated themselves and the general public on the vital importance of protecting our mite-free status by never importing Honey Bees from any other part of the world and instead relying on our own special Honey Bee stock.  It would take only one mite- infested beeyard in our area to bring an end to pesticide-free local beekeeping and honey. There are buyers for Thunder Bay’s mite-free bees from across Northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota.

“The Honey Bee is a unique semi-domesticated insect, which kept with care and skill provides Canadians with up to 50 kilograms of honey per hive and valuable hive products while pollinating the fruits, vegetables and nuts that feed us,” says JoAnne Henderson, President of the TBBA.

“The past twenty-five years have been tough for beekeeping across North America with dramatically declining hive numbers under the stress of two introduced mites; varroa and tracheal, new diseases, and large scale industrial farming practices that do not respect the rhythm of the hive.”

To continue the education of area beekeepers and the general public the Association has partnered with EarthWise Thunder Bay through the Food Action Network to promote National Honey Bee Day, and will have a display at the Thunder Bay Country Market on Saturday. The Association is also launching their new web site, www.thunderbaybeekeepersassociation.ca

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