Thank a Honey Bee on May 29
Day of the Honey Bee
Thank You - from Clinton Shane Ekdahl Founder Of -
Day Of The Honey Bee.
Close to one year ago I began a project to raise awareness about honey bee disappearances across Canada. I started by writing a letter to Saskatoon, SK City Council. In my letter, I disclosed my passion for honey bees and the desire I have to make a positive difference to my world. I wrote about the history of the honey bee and its value to our environment, agriculture and economy. I wrote about the alarming disappearances of honey bees across Canada and the world, which are losses of above 30 percent. In some areas honey bee losses are higher. I also wrote that the general public seems to be largely unaware of the value of the honey bee on numerous levels. We humans not only consume the honey that honey bees make, but we consume food crops which they pollinate as well as other animal livestock which rely on feed; also made possible because of bee pollination. Honey bees have become an essential component to our continued survival because they are responsible for roughly a third of the food we eat and are responsible for roughly 70 percent of food crop pollination. Yet, they are disappearing.
It is unclear what is causing honey bee disappearances across Canada and the Globe, yet it is certain that they are being affected by numerous factors. Some of these factors are cold weather, pesticide use, parasites, monoculture food crops, poor immune system, viruses and other pathogens. While I am not an expert on honey bees, I will not comment on the theories or offer my opinion as to why honey bees are dying, except to say that whatever the cause or causes, it is a global phenomenon and we need to act soon to solve this crisis.
This brings me to the ‘why’ I began “Day of the Honey Bee”. Knowing that honey bees are disappearing and keeping beehives in my backyard in Saskatoon SK, I thought that if governments declared a day in honor of these valuable animals, more people would be made aware of their importance and the crisis threatening them. I thought that by doing this, more public and government support could be given towards research that is needed to find answers.
After writing a letter to Saskatoon, SK City Hall, the first ever proclamation declaring May 29, 2010 as “Day of the Honey Bee” was issued. I then wrote to the City of Regina, SK. A few weeks later, the second proclamation was received in the mail from Regina. The project snowballed from there. I began writing to every municipal government in Canada. While I fear I might have missed some municipal governments, I sent over 2100 emails and letters in the first month. I did not stop there, I wrote letters to each Member of Parliament, the Federal Government of Canada, each Provincial Government, numerous MLA’s, Government Ministers and the Media.
The result of this dedication is that now there are 57 official proclamations declaring May 29 be acknowledged as “Day of the Honey Bee” from across seven provinces. Four Provincial Governments have indicated support (One from the Province of British Columbia is Official), and there is a Motion in the House of Commons supporting “National Day of the Honey Bee”. While the actual number of governments supporting “Day of the Honey Bee” are higher than 57, many may not have sent me a proclamation in the mail and I have to search the internet for council minutes to discover support. However, the estimated number is now over 70.
Because of this amazing support, more people will learn about honey bees. All across Canada, beekeepers, apiarists, beekeeping associations, clubs, and other groups are planning activities and events surrounding this day (most evident in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia – thanks to tremendous support and hard work from various beekeepers associations in those provinces).
This project has even inspired other groups from around the world to initiate similar events, such as
- the United States,
- the United Kingdom,
- New Zealand
Across Canada, the Governments that have issued a proclamation include:
Saskatoon, Regina, Tisdale, Assiniboia, Biggar, Prince Albert, Battleford, Asquith, Melfort and Nipawin of Saskatchewan; the Province of Saskatchewan; Milton, Orillia, East Gwillimbury, Kingston, Stratford, Fort Erie, Pickering, Kenora, St. Marys, and Clarington of Ontario; Port Alberni, Duncan, Victoria, Ashcroft, Cranbrook, Kelowna, Comox Valley Regional District, Williams Lake, New Westminster, North Vancouver, District of Kent, and the District of North Saanich, of British Columbia; The Government of British Columbia; Botha, Peace River, Vermilion, M.D. of Northern Lights No. 22, Fort Macleod, District of Smoky River No. 130, Sedgewick, Olds, Okotoks, Gull Lake, Beaver County, High Prairie, Innisfail, Ponoka, Fahler, Village of Breton and Black Diamond of Alberta; Ville De Cap-Sante, Municipalite De Saint-Pierre-De-Lamy, and Municipalite De La Reine of Quebec; Ethelbert and Glenboro of Manitoba; The Government of Manitoba; and Antigonish of Nova Scotia;
It is clear that Canada supports “Day of the Honey Bee” and that my goal of increased public awareness of honey bee losses is a success.
- Thank You
- Clinton Shane Ekdahl
- Founder of,
- "Day of the Honey Bee"