May 29th - National Day of the Honey Bee

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The Thunder Bay Beekeepers' Association is proud that the City of Thunder Bay has joined seventy other Canadian municipalities in proclaiming May 29th the first National Honey Bee Day.

"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." said JoAnne Henderson, President of the Thunder Bay Beekeepers' Association. "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."

Ms Henderson continued, " The citizens of Thunder Bay need to know that the seventy Thunder Bay Beekeepers have successfully organized for twenty-four years 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. We have worked to educate both ourselves 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 but to rely on our own special Honey Bee stock with its proven hygienic behaviour. 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."

To continue the education of area beekeepers and the general public the Association announces their new web site, .
There will also be a small display at the Saturday Farmers Market.

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The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA), have pointed out that Canada lost 35 percent of our Honey Bees in 2008 and they warn that this is 20 percent more than a sustainable loss. In the past 2009/10 winter Vancouver Island Bee Keepers had a 90% loss among their hives.

Nation Honey Bee Day is a Canadian initiative, started in 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.

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