There was a hive of activity at the B.C. legislature Wednesday as the government declared May 29 the official Day of the Honey Bee in British Columbia.

Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham used the occasion to announce the province's Bee BC Program would receive up to $100,000 a year for three years to support research on bee health.

“The beekeeping community in the province plays an important role in the daily lives of every British Columbian," said Popham.

“They contribute to our amazing agricultural industry by pollinating crops and produce delicious locally produced honey that British Columbians can trust."

The province and the Investment Agriculture Foundation have provided $150,000 to Bee BC since 2017. 

The program supports small-scale community-based research into management practices associated with bee health.

“The beekeepers of B.C. truly appreciate the support from Minister Popham and the people of B.C. through the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Kerry Clark, president of the B.C. Honey Producers Association.

“Our beekeepers’ association will continue to work hard to try to enable our piece of the bee world to improve.”

Honey bees are a vital piece of B.C.'s agriculture sector as pollinators of crops and contribute an estimated $538 million to the economy annually, according to the province. Across Canada, bees contribute an estimated $3.2 billion annually.