Canadian beekeepers had a fantastic honey crop this year, as national production is the second highest in the last 15 years.
Statistics Canada, in a release issued this morning, said apiarists produced 95.3 million pounds of honey, up from 85.5 million last year and 76.5 million in 2013.
Alberta was responsible for most of the production gain. Alberta beekeepers increased production by 7.3 million lb., going from 35.5 million in 2014 to 42.8 million this year.
Apiarists produced more honey because bee colony numbers jumped 3.6 percent compared to 2014. Prairie bee colonies had a great winter in 2015. Winter losses averaged 11 percent in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, much lower than losses of 20 to 40 percent in previous years.
National honey yields were also up. Beekeepers averaged 132 lb. per hive, a gain of nine lb. over 2014.
Honey prices remain strong despite the production increase. Stats Can says the price of honey is around $2.40 per lb.
Bee colonies on the Prairies
2013 2014 2015
Alberta 278,000 282,900 295,000
Sask. 100,000 95,000 101,000
Man. 73,800 78,700 90,909
Source: Statistics Canada