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The sweet taste of success

The sweet taste of success

Posted on: 2/2/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Quebec may produce the most maple syrup in the country, but that’s not the only sweet and delicious liquid in town. Honey has become to Alberta what maple syrup is to la belle province!

Last year, Alberta beekeepers produced 40 million pounds of honey, close to the record high of 47 million pounds in 2005. Like most agricultural commodities, production is partially at the whim of climate and weather. Conditions that are either too hot or too cold will inhibit pollen production, which in turn diminishes the volume of honey the bees can produce.

Alberta accounts for roughly 43 per cent of Canada’s total honey production. There were 1,360 beekeeping oper​ations last year, with 311,000 colonies humming along. In dollar value, production in the province topped $68 million last year. That’s close to the ten-year average, but down from more than $80 million per year in 2013 when honey prices were higher.

Honey production is an important part of Alberta’s growing diversity in agriculture and agri-foods. It’s a whole food, so nutritionists love it. Honey bees are great for the natural environment and health of the biosphere. And honey represents a growing opportunity for global exports. Sales of Alberta honey total around $23 million to the U.S., and $10 million to Japan. After all, who doesn’t love a good peanut butter and honey sandwich?

Volume of honey production in Canada and Alberta, graph ​​

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