Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

April 10, 2015 13:00 ET

Investment by Harper Government in Commercial Beekeeping to Bolster Agriculture Industry

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced support for the establishment of a commercial beekeeping program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Pollination by honeybees is vital to the existence of many B.C. crops and paid pollination services are increasing in demand. This program helps to meet this demand and will provide access for students to enter the beekeeping industry. In addition, the program will offer courses in bee botany that crop producers can enroll in to learn how to improve their yield. The Government's investment will strengthen local agriculture by creating new economic opportunities and increasing the potential income of farmers.

Industry representatives will work with Kwantlen Polytechnic University to develop curriculum and create the unique classroom space necessary for proper apiculture training. In the ten month program, students will learn about bee hive care, bee disease management, food safety, bee botany, processing, packaging and marketing, and bee business planning and growth.

Quick Facts

  • The Harper Government will provide $140,000 in funding provided through the Western Diversification Program towards the establishment of a commercial beekeeping program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

  • Honeybee pollination in B.C. is responsible for over $200 million per year in agricultural production, with $65 million coming from the pollination-dependent blueberry industry.

  • The program will accommodate up to 16 new commercial beekeepers each intake. The operations of 16 commercial beekeepers will support over $6 million in B.C. agriculture production.

Quotes

"Pollination by honeybees is vital to a variety of crops in Western Canada and beekeeping services are increasing in demand. Thanks to our Government's support, we are strengthening the local agriculture industry and providing new opportunities for our farmers to expand their incomes."

- Mark Warawa, Member of Parliament for Langley

"This bee-keeping program is one more way Kwantlen Polytechnic University can reinforce its distinctive mandate while supporting the sustainability of our essential food systems. KPU's program will be a catalyst for expanded agricultural development and will connect our students directly to experiential learning and work opportunities in our vast network of food producers, retailers and distributors."

- Dr. Salvador Ferreras, PhD, Provost and Vice President Academic, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Additional Links

- Federal Investment Strengthens Alberta's Position as a Global Leader in Bee Agricultural Technology http://www.wd.gc.ca/eng/77_13189.asp

- Harper Government Investment to Benefit Agriculture Students at UFV http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=873679&tp=1

- Kwantlen Polytechnic University: http://www.kpu.ca/

- Apiculture Industry Advisor: http://www.honeybeecentre.com/

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Contact Information

  • Ben Letts
    A/Regional Communications Manager
    Western Economic Diversification Canada
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    604-838-7203
    ben.letts@wd-deo.gc.ca

    Hayley Woodin
    Media Specialist, Communications
    Kwantlen Polytechnic University
    Surrey, British Columbia
    604-599-2883
    hayley.woodin@kpu.ca

    WD Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
    WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca