The Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association were pleased the Manitoba Provincial Government issued a Proclamation for the 4th time in 2013, and also requested Rural Municipalities (St Andrews, Rosser, & Rockwood, Gimli, and Whitemouth) around Winnipeg, to proclaim May 29 as The Day of the Bee. Public celebrations took place the Saturday prior. Members of the Red River Apiarists' Association staffed the display at The Forks. For the Saturday 25 May 2013 celebration, we introduced the new Theme- "Honey Bees - Good for Us". The static display of colourful photos and pictorial information sheets were enjoyed by many visitors to the area. Visitors also appreciated being able to talk directly with artisans producing the colourful honey they could purchase for their families.
DAY OF THE HONEY BEE 2012
Although the official 3rd annual Manitoba Bee Day was Tuesday May 29, the public celebration took place on Saturday 26 May, 2012, since this is more convenient for visitors to attend and interact with honey producers. The Province of Manitoba issued a Proclamation for the day! The reasons for the public awareness campaign and the areas of displays are described in previous years' reports as indicated below.
DAY OF THE HONEY BEE 2011
The Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association (MBA) were successful in having the Manitoba Provincial Government and Rural Municipalities (St Andrews, Rosser, & Rockwood, Gimli, and Whitemouth) around the Winnipeg area, proclaim Sunday 29 May 2011 as “The Day of The Honey Bee” in recognition of their importance for pollinating plants producing foods people eat. MBA along with Red River Apiarists' Association, hosted the event at the Forks Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
To increase awareness of the importance of Honey Bees for pollinating many of the foods we eat, a special day of celebration was set-aside in May, using the theme "Great Foods...Pollinated by Honey Bees".
Sunday May 29, 2011 was designated to celebrate “The Day of The Honey Bee” at the Forks Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba. This celebration followed a similar inaugural event held last year, where members of Red River Apiarists Association hosted the promotional event on behalf of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association. At this event hundreds of visitors were informed about the benefits of the honey bee for more than just honey. For 2011, the promotion took place at Forks Centre Court, and included conversations with beekeepers throughout the day.
Once again, producers capitalized on the increasing concern the public has for the disappearance of bees. This provided an excellent opportunity for visitors to “talk to a beekeeper” to express their concern and then hear of steps being taken across our continent to determine the causes. This often leads to a better understanding that producers are taking care of their bees, as we are keenly aware of their importance.
For the second year in a row, a day of recognizing the benefit of Honey Bee pollination for the foods we eat was held at the Forks Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba. For the special event on Sunday, the theme “Great Foods…pollinated by the Honey Bee” was selected.
The promotion featured a table decorated with a Spring Garden theme, and laden with various foods, typically found in backyard, community and market gardens. Plants, such as Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Watermelon, and Zucchini, depend on insects to transfer pollen from the male to the female flower, in order to be productive. Meanwhile, Almonds, Apples, Blueberries, Buckwheat, Cherries, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and Tomatoes rely on insects for more abundant crops.
An observation hive with “live honey bees” continues to be a main attraction for visitors. The bees provided by Dr. Currie, University of Manitoba, drew both young and old to “have a look”. Thanks to Chris Argiriou, Brian & Sandra Smith, Duane & Deb Versluis, Jim & Barb Campbell, John & Usha Speer, and Rhéal Lafrenière for helping with the bees. Staff provided factual and informative responses, as consumers desire to deal directly with producers generating the food used by their families. Several visitors mentioned past connections to beekeeping through their dad or grandfather, who kept bees many years ago. Visitors picked up promotional pens, pencils, and a colourful “squeeze” bees, all provided by Bee Maid.
Communication with honey producers continued at the vendor table, where Kerri Hourd along with Don, promoted Artisan Honey and Beeswax Candles. Customers scooped up the varieties of honey, whether Sunflower, Clover, Wildflower, Canola, or Buckwheat.
Guests commented on seeing the newspaper articles and hearing Charles Polcyn, Sunday morning interview, on both CBC and CJOB. Thanks to the Manitoba Government along with municipalities of St Andrews, Rockwood, and Rosser, for their proclamations for the Day of the Honey Bee. Manitoba’s promotion coincides with similar ones held in BC, AB, SK and other areas across Canada.
For further information on the results of this event, contact Jim Campbell at 467-5246, or Charles Polcyn at 284-7064.
DAY OF THE HONEY BEE IN 2010 (First Ever)
WHEN: Tool place Saturday 29 May 2010, 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Forks Market, Winnipeg; Corner Dray Lane and Grand Trunk Way (South-West corner).
WHAT: Celebrate the Importance of Honey Bee for pollination (and the foods we eat).
WHO: Food consumers, gardeners, farmers and fruit growers are invited
WHY: To see and learn which foods depend on pollinators.
The Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association (MBA) arranged for the Manitoba Provincial Government to proclaim Saturday 29 May 2010 as the First Year for the Annual Celebration of “The Day of The Honey Bee” in recognition of their importance for pollinating plants producing foods people eat.
Hon Stan Struthers, Minister Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Iniatives, signed the proclamation on Thursday 20 May 2010 in Room 165, Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Ron Rudiak, MBA Director from Steinbach, and Jim Campbell, MBA Secretary from Stonewall. Both Ron and Jim are also executive members of the Red River Apiarists' Association as well.
For 2010, MBA represents about 550 beekeepers with over 75,000 colonies of honey bees in the province of Manitoba.
Although “Honey” is our main product visible on store shelves, bee pollination services results in many fruit, vegetable and seed crops being available, not only in Manitoba, but in many agricultural locations across the country. Although Honey represents about a $20M industry in Manitoba, it is estimated that the results of pollination contributes approximately $40M to our Manitoba economy.
One particularly important pollination service has already taken place, in February, in the Almond Orchards of California, which ultimately produce the Almond nuts we enjoy as a health food and as an
everyday treat. Meanwhile here in Canada, the prairie provinces are number one
in the world for Hybrid Canola
pollination, and we’re number two
in the world for Blueberry
pollination. In Manitoba, gardeners, farmers and fruit growers depend on pollinators for apples, strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers, cantaloupe and other such produce.
The general public is becoming more aware of the need for pollinators due to the media coverage of the decline in bee population required for things such as almond pollination. Honey Bee decline, although not fully explained, as there are several factors contributing to the situation, is causing
concern, as about 1/3 of the food we eat comes from pollinated plants. To increase public awareness of the value of pollination and the linkage to the many foods we eat, MBA joined other groups and individuals across Canada in Celebrating “The Day of The Honey Bee”.
Celebrations known at time of writing would take place in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg. Meanwhile other provinces, such as Ontario and Quebec had municipalities and cities recognizing the day, plus other cities came on board as the celebration date approached.
In addition, one of the more active promoters of the awareness day celebration has been Shane Ekdahl from Saskatoon, SK, who has already held several events leading up to May 29th. Shane was instrumental in selecting the May 29th date, in part; to honour the date adventurers reached the top of Mount Everest. For those following such adventures, Edmund Hilary was the first to climb Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. Edmund was also a passionate naturalist and a dedicated beekeeper.
For the Manitoba Celebration, three groups joined forces for the promotion. MBA
, the provincial honey producer organization, in conjunction with the Red River Apiarists’ Association
, the Winnipeg area hobby beekeeper group, and the Brandon Area Beekeepers’ Association
, planned the “Pollination and the Foods We Eat” promotion held at The Forks Market, in Winnipeg.
To honour the “Day of the Honey Bee”, their importance to the agricultural community, contribution to the provincial economy, environmental friendly impact, plus their contribution to our food supply, and our need to protect them, several events were scheduled. The main focus was a table filled with foods from plants requiring pollination (i.e. Sunflower, Raspberry, Blueberries, Canola (oil), Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Apples, Canteloupes, Honey Dew Melons, Carrots, Zucchini, etc).
Other features originally planned, although not all took place, included pollination presentations from honey producers, videos on importance of bees, interactive display of live bees hosted by honey producers, favourite food contest for children, and vendors promoting floral specific honey and other hive products. In addition, we planned on radio, TV and other media coverage leading up to the event. A Special thanks to coverage by Marilyn Macki, CBC Radio Noon 20 May 2010 with an interview of Charles Polcyn, President RRAA, plus CityTV for their segment on Thursday morning 27 May 2010. In addition Ron Friesen, the manitoba co-operator reporter attended the show. Ron included a front page article "Bee sensitive to helpful insects, urbanites urged", as a result of interviewing Charles Polcyn. In addition a picture of "hear the buzz" supported the Day of the Honey Bee on page 2 of the June 3, 2010 edition of the Manitoba Co-operator.
Beekeepers from across Manitoba invited all interested gardeners, farmers, and food consumers, their families, friends, and relatives to join them at the Forks Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Market opened its' doors at 9:30 a.m. and folks could shop at all outlets until 6:30 p.m. closing time on Saturday.
The Honey Bee display was located in the Southwest aisle, often called Grand Trunk Way. The spot was located adjacent to Human Bean coffee & tea, and Fish’n Chips. Otherwise known as corner Grand Trunk Way and Dray Lane.
The display was staffed by members of the Red River Apiarists' Association, who were pleased to to answer visitors questions about the beekeeping industry, honey and other hive products, plus fruits, nuts and vegetables needing pollinators to produce food for all of us to eat. Visitors were from as far away as Australia and Europe, with some from Florida and Pennsylvania in USA.
Special Thanks and Appreciation to David Ostermann, Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Initiative, Pollination Specialist, for helping during the day. Other beekeepers and their spouses organizing, staffing and/or providing products included Jim and Barb Campbell, Charles and Verna Polcyn, Ron and Shirley Rudiak, Brian and Sandra Smith, Chris Argiriou, and Ken Rowes.Thanks to all!
For further information on the success of this event, contact Jim Campbell at 467-5246, or Charles Polcyn at 284-7064, or any of the beekeeping club members.
(Original 15 May 2010, updated 26 April 2014-jc)