Bees in Canada: 25 Facts

bees in canada 25 facts

When most people think about bees in Canada, they likely reminisce back to the time when they got stung by one; It hurts, and chances are that swelling pain will leave a lasting impression on anyone’s mind.

But Canadian bees are so much more than just an insect that most of us duck, dive and dodge when one comes flying around. These insects are an incredibly important part of the agricultural sector and are by far the centrepiece of one of the most unique industries seen on farms across Canada.

Canadian beekeepers and the colonies they nurture are an integral part our agricultural system. Also known as “honeybees,” these insects are responsible for pollinating crops ranging from apples, pears, cucumbers, melons, berries, and many other kinds of Canadian farm produce. They also make valuable honey and hive products, often seen at your favorite local farmer’s market!

Bees are integral to our ecosystem and life as we know it. As a species, honeybees ensure that our agricultural crop yields thrive as they are responsible for pollination. Your next meal is likely to have been impacted in one way or another by the hard work of bees in Canada.

We owe so much to honeybees and their role in our agricultural system. So, let's do them the honour!

Here are 25 interesting facts about bees in Canada for you to share with your loved ones at the dinner table, or any other time you see fit!

Canadian Honeybees: 25 Facts

number of beekeeper facilities found across Canada - 11,785

#1 - Canada is home to 855 species of native bees -- bumblebees, mason bees, sweat bees, leafcutting bees, mining bees, squash bees and more -- in addition to the western domesticated honey bee.

#2 - In 2020, Alberta was home to 285,000 bee colonies in Canada.

#3 - New Brunswick has 10,000 bee colonies registered between 450 beekeepers. Most of these colonies are utilized for pollination, while others produce honey.

#4 - Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are home to 67% of Canadian honey bee colonies.

#5 - Honeybees play an integral role in British Columbia's agricultural sector via crop pollination, contributing an estimated $538 million to the B.C. economy and over $3.2 billion across Canada.

#6 - B.C. is home to 2,700 beekeepers operating as a hobby, or part-time/full-time business, with more than 52,000 colonies.

#7 - Manitoba is home to 300 of the more than 4,000 species of bees found in North America.

#8 - Bees contribute to the health of crops worth $170 million in Ontario.

#9 - Nova Scotia's bee population increased from 12,779 hives in 2011 to 28,200 hives in 2016, while the number of beekeepers grew from 222 to 492.

#10 - In 2020, the Government of Canada recorded 11,785 beekeeper facilities across our country.

#11 - In 2020, 50.1% of Canadian honey exports were sent to Japan.

#12 - In terms of value and volume, Canada ranks 16th among the world's honey producers.

economic contribution of bees to the Canadian economy - $3.2 billion

#13 - On average, a single Canadian consumes just over one pound of honey per year!

#14 - The total value of Canada’s 2020 honey harvest was $208.8 million.

#15 - Bees are the only insects that make food that humans eat.

#16 - Honey bees visit between 50 to 100 flowers during one pollination trip.

#17 - During the spring and summer months, a working bee typically lives for 6 weeks

#18 - Bees pollinate over one-third of Canada’s food crops - meaning their work has touched our plates!

#19 - During early springtime, a colony of bees in Canada can amount to between 10,000 to 15,000 total members. In the summer this number can rise to 80,000.

#20 - Honeybees were first introduced to Canada alongside European settlers.

#21 - Honeybee pollination contributes to larger-sized fruits and vegetables.

#22 - Honey made by bees contains vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants which are highly beneficial to our health.

#23 - Honeybees can fly at a speed of 24km/hour.

#24 - Honeybees are noisy because they beat their wings 190 times a second!

#25 - Planting native flowers in your home garden can help maintain a healthy and growing bee population!

We Love Canadian Bees!

number of species of native bees found in Canada

We must talk about the importance of bees in Canada in order to understand and protect them.

As a vital component of our ecosystem, it is crucial that we are all aware of the need for honeybees of all sorts, even the ones that hurt when they sting! Canada's agricultural sector is fuelled by bees, and in turn, our hard-working farming families are able to provide our communities with the products they need!

The world needs more Canadian agricultural products, and we can thank the bees for that!

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