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Vernon's Planet Bee owner Ed Nowek says honey crops across Western Canada are way down

Less honey = higher cost

One of nature's tastiest treats is likely going to cost more this winter.

Between record-setting heat and a blanket of smoke, the B.C. Interior honey crop is significantly smaller this year.

Ed Nowek, of Planet Bee in Vernon, says this year is one of the worst on record for honey production – a drastic turnaround from last year, which was one of the best.

“It's bad. Western Canada is a big producer of honey, and there's shortages. Bulk honey to the producers has gone up 35 to 45 per cent this year,” said Nowek.

“It's going to impact our costs and prices and stuff on honey this year, for sure. We're going to have to put through some price increases in the new year.”

Beekeepers were hit with a double whammy in 2021.

Nowek says the heat dome in June “pushed the plants three weeks ahead in a matter of two or three days. A lot of the plants never really got the chance to produce a nectar, they just dried out.”

Deep-rooted plants were able to produce nectar longer, but they also finished blooming ahead of normal.

And once the temperature cooled down, the fires heated up, covering the B.C. Interior in a blanket of wildfire smoke.

“The smoke kind of surpresses the bees and kind of makes them lazy, and they never seem to do much after that,” Nowek said.

“A beekeeper uses a smoker to calm the bees to relax them while you are working in the hives, so imagine getting that smoke all day long. They just never bothered going out to do anything.”



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