What’s all the buzz about?
Ontario bees and bee-autiful honey!
Honey bees, although small, play a very significant role in food, farming and the environment. They also produce nature's unrefined sweetener – honey – from the nectar of flowers.
Honey is mostly made up of two simple sugars, laevulose and dextrose. It is 17 per cent water and contains traces of the sugars maltose and sucrose, as well as vitamins, minerals, organic acids and enzymes.
Because honey is mainly made of simple sugars, which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, it is an instant source of energy. Bees and the beekeeping industry are of the utmost importance to the health and vitality of Canada’s agricultural industry and to the country's economy.
Bees play an indispensable role in the pollination of our essential crops. In fact, bees are responsible for the health of $170 million worth of crops in Ontario each year.
Canadian beekeepers produced 61.4 million pounds of honey in 2007. Of that, 5.6 million pounds were produced in Ontario by 75,000 bee colonies maintained by 2,300 beekeepers.
Honey bees pollinate more than 90 food, fibre and seed crops like almonds, apples, oranges, melons, broccoli, tangerines, cranberries, strawberries, vegetables, alfalfa, soybeans, sunflower and cotton. In fact, honey bees pollinate about one-third of the food in the human diet.