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When you think of a honeybee, what first comes to mind? Honey? Buzzing around your picnic table? Fear of getting stung? Maybe all of the above. There is a lot to know about these amazing insects that goes beyond what might originally think.

May 20th marks World Bee Day. What is this exactly? This is a day that is meant to raise awareness about honeybees, beekeepers and their role in the sustainability of the planet. 

According to the Canadian Honey Council, the success of pollination of about 75% of our crops relies on pollinators like honeybees. It takes one colony of honeybees (around 30,000 bees) to pollinate an acre of fruit trees (as long as they are near). And the value of bees pollinating fruits, crops, vegetables, and legumes is almost 20 times the value of honey produced. 

Bees and other pollinators are fundamental for the health of ecosystems and food security. They help maintain biodiversity and ensure the production of nutritious food. However, intensive monoculture production and improper use of pesticides pose serious threats to pollinators by reducing their access to food and nesting sites, exposing them to harmful chemicals, and weakening their immune systems. 

You're probably used to seeing honeybees flying around your yard and chances are you've been stung by a honeybee at some point in your life. If you're like most people, you have a healthy fear of these little guys and you're likely to either stand completely still until the bee leaves the area or you simply 'get outta dodge' when you do encounter one.

So, while it is completely normal to avoid honeybees out of fear of being stung, the fact is that bees are actually pretty helpful to your environment, to food production, and if you're a gardener, your garden space. We should all try to protect them. 

Under the theme “Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production”, World Bee Day 2023 calls for global action to support pollinator-friendly agricultural production and highlights the importance of protecting bees and other pollinators, particularly through evidence-based agricultural production practices. 

At Dutchman’s Gold we have always been fascinated by honeybees and their contributions to the health and ecosystem of the planet. 

Here are 3 reasons why we love honey bees 

1. They pollinate our flowers and plants 
2. They produce honey 
3. They produce wellness ingredients 


While bees may seem like a pesky species, they actually do a lot for us and our economy. In the Canada and The United States, more than one third of all crops require pollination. These crops include vegetables, nuts, and fruits. Without bees, our fruits and vegetables would not be harvested properly causing our economy would significantly decrease. 

This also means that we wouldn’t have access to many of our favorite foods. These foods include, but aren’t limited to: 

• Limes
• Lemons
• Peaches
• Avocados
• Almonds
• Apples
• Brussel Sprouts
• Pumpkins

We also wouldn’t be able to have coffee, which is a daily staple for many Canadians. 


Pollination is very important for the planet, so supporting beekeepers and their beehive crops helps sustain beekeepers and the fruits of their labour. Above and beyond pollination, honeybees make a brilliant liquid gold that we can serve to our tables, include in our recipes and add to our diets in many other ways. It is nature’s most valuable sweetener. HONEY! 

Honeybees work hard for their honey! It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey. The average life of a honeybee during the working season is about six weeks. So not only do they work hard, they die at the end of it too! That is commitment! 

That is just one other reason why we love honeybees. And the beekeepers who tend to them also have to be there to move them and tend to them at just the right time. More on that later. 


Beyond pollination, balancing our ecosystem and making honey, they also make fascinating beehive ingredients that are good for human wellness, both inside and outside the body. 

I won’t get into all the science here, but if you see beeswax, bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly included in supplements, and skincare, there are a lot of reasons why you want these antioxidant superfoods and ingredients in your body. 


Now if it weren’t for the beekeepers who tend to the bees we would also be in a bad place. It’s important to us to not only honour the bees but also the very hard-working beekeepers. My Dad was and is a beekeeper and I tell you it is one of the hardest jobs on the planet. Imagine getting up on purpose in the middle of the night to move bees from farm to farm. Bees don’t like to be moved, so its best to do it when the sun is down. Talk about working 16-hour days and getting stung for it! It’s not for everyone. 

  • Work their asses off, day and night to tend to the bees! 
  • Support the bees and their hives, which supports the environment.
  • Help keep the honeybees safe through ensuring they are winterized properly and tended to during high season.

Cheers to supporting the honeybee and our very important beekeepers this world honeybee day! 


 Canadian beekeepers say that only about one-third of all honeybee colonies around the nation have vanished. This means it’s our job to do what we can to keep them around. So, how can we help prevent bees from going extinct? 

As a gardener, there are a few things you can do each day. 

• As much as you may love the look of ornamental flowers in your plant boxes, some of them actually contain neonicotinoids which is actually poison for the bees. Make sure anything you’re planting in your garden is free of the chemicals. 

• In order to protect the bees and attract them to your garden, offer tasty and colourful varieties. As humans, we tend to gravitate toward places or events that offer tasty food options. Bees are pretty similar in thinking. Bring them to your home with the use of food in the form of native plants. They will be more likely to visit your garden and pollinate there if the plants are native because they’re essentially pre-programmed to like those the best. Bees evolved with native plants, making the native garden a hot spot for visitors.
• Not only do bees need to be fed, it’s important to keep them hydrated as well. Honey bees, for example, need to have water so place a bowl or water fountain near your garden to ensure that they will never go thirsty. Some bees who don’t need the extra water to drink will use it mixed with dirt to create a mud that will keep their nests together. Just keep in mind that regardless of what the bees plan on using the water for that it must always be clean. Change out the water daily to prevent any mosquito problems. 


Saving the bees isn’t just about creating a safe space for them in your garden. If you find yourself truly invested in creating a bright future for the flying souls, a group or organization that supports pollinators may be the thing for you. There are groups around the country like Ontario Beekeepers Association, The Canadian Honey Council or the Pollinator Partnership available for joining and supporting. If an organization like these aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, there are also citizen-science programs. These programs include The Great Sunflower Project, Fourth of July Butterfly Count, and the Bumble Bee Watch. 


In addition, consuming honey and beehive ingredients supports beekeepers and the honeybees they keep. And these natural superfoods from the earth are packed with goodness, that feeds your health. 

Joining one or a few of these groups and taking the steps listed above will ensure you’re doing your part to save the economy, your food, your health and the bees for many years to come.
Angela Van Alten/Ysseldyk is a second-generation entrepreneur and co-owner of Dutchman’s Gold alongside her husband Mark. She is the eldest daughter of the original 1981 beekeeper founders and is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner for 25 years. With a degree in business and foundation in nutrition, Angela has worked with the top vitamin brands in various roles over the years helping Canadians achieve optimal wellness. She is now applying her years supporting and growing nutraceutical CPG companies to her own foundational family roots with a passion for beehive goodness. Her mission is to empower people to have an extraordinary life. Angela is the Co-Owner & Director of Spreading Beehive Goodness for Dutchman’s Gold.