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Bee populations hit by wildfires in Interior, Cariboo

Last Updated Sep 3, 2017 at 7:05 am PST

(iStock, Photo)

At least 100 beehives, and beekeeping equipment, have been destroyed by wildfires

Money is being raised at the PNE to help affected honey producers

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – British Columbia’s bee populations are being hit by the province’s ongoing wildfires, with hives and equipment destroyed.

Wildfires are still burning across BC, so it’s too early to assess the full extent of damage to beehives and equipment.

Kerry Clark, President of the BC Honey Producers Association says he knows of about 100 hives that have been destroyed.

“There are beekeepers all throughout the province. So wherever there have been fires, and agriculture, there’s going to be some beekeepers affected.”

“Of course all the fire impacts aren’t over yet either, so we’re still gathering that information.”

He says some local honey supplies will be impacted.

“There are some beekeepers who have local markets and they won’t be able to meet their regular customers’ needs, but that’ll be just a local situation. There are supplies from other people,” he says.

“But there are many other losses, such as beekeepers under evacuation not being able to access their bee yards for management, and of course the burned forage areas.”

“Most of the value of bees comes from the pollination services that they provide.”

Liam Brownrigg is with the Honeybee Centre in Clovedale, Surrey, which is raising money at the PNE for beekeepers hit by fires.

“We have a donation box out… People seem interested. People are definitely aware of bees and want to support however they can.”

The Honeybee Centre is matching donations up to $2,000.