Local honey – it’s the bees knees!

Today, web editor Colleen Tully is speaking to you about local honey. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did. Here she is:

Canadian honeybees have been hard at work since the dawn of summer, sucking nectar out of every flower in their path, filling their bellies and flying back to the hive.

All for their beloved Queen. Such unfettered dedication.

And behold! Mere weeks into summer and the honey harvest has begun. Farmers’ markets across Canada are now showcasing golden jars of liquid honey, chewy combed honey, decadent creamed honey – all carefully collected and processed locally by our Canadian beekeepers.

Such unfettered dedication.

As a Green Blog reader, you probably already know about every third bite of food you eat is the result of bee pollination. Translation: Without bees, we don’t eat.

You may or may not know nearly 30 per cent of Canada’s bee colonies were killed off last winter, which is twice the normal rate. And in the United States, between 50 to 90 per cent of commercial colonies suffered a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder.

Dear, sweet bees. But don’t despair. Wonderful things are happening to help propagate Canadian bees, such as the Fairmont Royal York’s rooftop beehives in Toronto, located beside their herb garden. The Canadian Living Test Kitchen will be visiting these pampered Royal York bees in two weeks – stay tuned for online photos in The Foodie-file!

One of the hives at the Royal York was a gift from the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative. This Coop has also paired up with Evergreen, a national non-profit eco-organization, and founded 19 hives in a Toronto greenspace (the Evergreen Brick Works located in the Don Valley.)

What’s happening with bees in your area? Please comment below and tell us!

I spoke to a beekeeper a few weeks ago, who said he’s happy to see the movement towards buying local produce, but consumers forget that they should also be buying local honey to support the entire local agricultural system.

So run, dear friends. Run to your local market this weekend, cheering all the way, and gather up Canada’s 2008 honey harvest to support the bees, our beekeepers, and the entirety of Canada’s agriculture. Need more info and ideas? The newly-launched OntarioHoney.ca site is a great place for honey-tasting notes, descriptions of different honeys and info for kids.