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Canadian Honey Council

The Canadian Beekeepers Council was formed in 1940 to assist in negotiating fair practices for labeling, grading, and marketing honey at the national level. The fledgling organization was underfunded and slow to communicate. It was difficult to respond to issues or develop the international markets that the members wanted. It was clear that there was a need for a higher profile and increased international recognition. In 1970 The Canadian Beekeepers Council decided to change its name to Canadian Honey Council.honey bee photo for the Canadian Honey Council

CHC Office
Executive Director
Rod Scarlett
#218, 51519 R.R.220
Sherwood Park, AB T8E 1H1
ph 877-356-8935

Hivelights Magazine Editorial and Advertising
P. O. Box 914, Station T, Calgary, AB T2H 2H4
Geoff Todd ph 403-512-2123 geoff@honeycouncil.ca
or Doug McRory Email: doug@dougsbees.com

HELP WANTED ads for 2016 can now be ordered. The cost is $50.00 for six months on the CHC web site and printed in the Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 issues of Hivelights. Payments should be made out to Hivelights and mailed to: Hivelights, P. O. Box 914, Station T, Calgary, AB T2H 2H4. Payment and ad should arrive by September 15th 2015.

Contact Geoff Todd: geoff@honeycouncil.ca to place ad.

Apimondia Bid Montreal Canada 2019

With the theme "Working together within agriculture: Canada’s answer to sustainable beekeeping" the Canadian Honey Council is preparing for its bid to host Apimondia in Montreal in 2019.  The bid team is working hard putting together an exciting proposal to be presented in Daejeon, Korea this September.  The bid website http://www.apimondia2019mtl.com/ has all the information.  As you can see, lots has been done, but there is lots more to do --- and it costs money so if you can donate to the cause, please do so by sending any contributions to the CHC offfice and indicate that the funds should be used to offset Apimondia bid expenses.  We are in it to win it!

New   PMRA Incident report update





New  CAPA Overwintering losses for 2015



Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) proudly introduces its Commercial Beekeeping Program. KPU is the only accredited university in North America that offers training focused on commercial apiculture and beekeeping agri-business. This 11-month full time program includes 12 weeks of basic beekeeping, 12 weeks of advanced beekeeping and business training, and a 5 month paid practicum with an experienced commercial beekeeper within Western Canada.

For more information and for the online application please visit www.kpu.ca/cps/commercial-beekeeping

2015 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award

The Pollinator Partnership (P2), Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) are pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2015 Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award. Individuals or families in Canada currently implementing pollinator protection measures on their farm or ranch are encouraged to apply.

The award recognizes farmers and ranchers who have made significant efforts in conserving natural ecosystems, fostering additional pollinator habitat and protecting pollinators on Canadian farms and ranches.

 More information about the award, including the nomination form can be found here. Nominations are open until July 24, 2015. The recipient of the 2015 award will be recognized during an evening reception at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. on October 21, and will also be featured in various industry publications across Canada.

 "We know the farming community is already contributing to conservation efforts on working landscapes. The award is an opportunity to showcase these efforts and share ideas," noted CFA President Ron Bonnett.

 "Pollinators are incredibly important to our food supply. A thriving pollinator system and agricultural practices can exist simultaneously - this award and the applications demonstrate that," said P2 Research Director, Victoria Wojcik.

 CFGA Environment Committee Co-Chair, Chad Anderson, added that, "Pollinator habitat is one of many ecosystem services forage and grasslands provide. CFGA is proud to help recognize the farmers and ranchers showing leadership and innovation in good management of those lands."

 Download the Nomination Form (English)

 For more information, contact:   Pollinator Partnership  Victoria Wojcik, Research Director, 647-546-3890 vw@pollinator.org

 Canadian Federation of Agriculture- Drew Black, Director of Environment & Science Policy, 613-236-3633, envsci@canadian-farmers.ca

 Canadian Forage and Grassland Association- Chad Anderson, Environment Committee Co-Chair, 519-331-0526, andersonagronomyservices@live.ca 

 Appel aux mises en candidature - Prix de la conservation des pollinisateurs des agriculteurs et des ranchers

19 mai 2015 - Le Pollinator Partnership (P2), la Fédération canadienne de l'agriculture (FCA) et l'Association canadienne pour les plantes fourragères (ACPF) sont heureux de solliciter des candidatures pour le Prix 2015 de la conservation des pollinisateurs des agriculteurs et ranchers canadiens. Des personnes ou familles au Canada qui prennent actuellement des mesures de protection des pollinisateurs à leur ferme ou ranch sont encouragés à présenter une demande.

 Ce prix récompense une personne ou une famille qui, dans une exploitation agricole ou un ranch au Canada, a contribué notablement à la conservation d'écosystèmes, en créant des habitats additionnels et en protégeant des espèces pollinisatrices.

 Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements au sujet du prix et le formulaire de mise en candidature veuillez cliquer ici.  Des mises en candidature peuvent être soumises jusqu'au 24 juillet 2015. Le lauréat du prix de 2015 sera reconnu le soir du 21 octobre durant une réception au département américain de l'agriculture à Washington D.C. et tiendra également la vedette dans diverses publications de l'industrie à travers le Canada.

 « Nous savons que la communauté agricole contribue déjà aux efforts de conservation dans les paysages exploités. L'octroi de ce prix est une occasion de mettre ces efforts en évidence et de partager des idées », a déclaré le président de la FCA, Ron Bonnett.

 « Les pollinisateurs sont extrêmement importants pour notre système alimentaire. Des pollinisateurs en bonne santé et les pratiques agricoles peuvent coexister - ce prix et les mises en candidature en sont la preuve », a précisé la directrice de la recherche à P2, Victoria Wojcik.

 Le coprésident du Comité de l'environnement de l'ACPF, Chad Anderson, a ajouté ceci : « La création et la protection des habitats des pollinisateurs figurent parmi les nombreux services de préservation des écosystèmes qu'offrent les cultures fourragères et surfaces pastorales. L'ACPF est fière d'aider à reconnaître les agriculteurs et gros éleveurs qui font preuve de leadership et d'innovation en assurant une excellente gestion de ces terres. »

 Formulaire d'inscription
Pour des renseignements additionnels, prière de communiquer avec :

 Partenariat pour la protection des pollinisateurs- Victoria Wojcik, Directrice de la recherche, 647-546-3890, vw@pollinator.org

 FCA- Drew Black, Directeur de la Politique sur l'environnement et les sciences, 613-236-3633,  envsci@canadian-farmers.ca 

 Association canadienne pour les plantes fourragères- Chad Anderson, Coprésident du Comité de l'environnement, 519-331-0526


 Senate Agriculture Committee Report Stresses

The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada

OTTAWA (May 27, 2015) Today, the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry tabled its latest report entitled: The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada.

The report provides a roadmap of nine recommendations the committee believes are necessary to improve bee health. Among them, the Committee is calling on the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to keep monitoring pollinator mortality during the spring of 2015 to assess whether the protective measures adopted for the 2014 planting season were efficient. Furthermore, the Committee is recommending the PMRA conclude, without delay, its re-evaluation of neonicotinoid insecticides based on evidence and sound scientific principles with an objective of protecting the health of bees.

“Given the importance of bees to the environment and food production in Canada, our Senate Committee strongly believes in the continued collaboration between the federal government, stakeholders and the provinces to work on measures to improve pollinator health, such as the Bee Health Forum, the National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard, and the re-evaluation of three neonicotinoid pesticides.”

Senator Percy Mockler, Committee Chair

“Given the current duration of some conditionally registered neonic insecticdes, the Committee believes that the duration of this conditional registration should be reduced. It is necessary that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency accelerate its conditional registration process in order to reduce the current number of conditional registrations granted to neonicotinoid active ingredients.”

Senator Claudette Tardif, Committee Deputy Chair

Summary of report recommendations

  • Enabling bee packages importation from foreign jurisdictions such as the United States while keeping in mind the importance of improving the inspection of imported honey bee packages.

  • Monitoring bee health status, across the country, through the implementation of the bee health surveillance project on a continuous basis, rather than a four-year period.

  • Accelerating the implementation of the National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard in hives.

  • Reducing the current number of conditional registrations granted to neonic active ingredients.

  • Ensuring, through the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development audits, that the PMRA is working on enhancing its pesticide registration process.

  • Improving access to new pesticides which could be safely used in beehives.

  • The PMRA keeps monitoring bee mortality and concludes, without delay, its re-evaluation of the three neonic insecticides.

  • Increasing the amount and the duration of research funding targeting pollinator health.

  • Improving management practices of beekeepers and growers while minimizing the use of chemical products and ensuring the availability of untreated seeds.

  • Improving pollinator habitat in order to achieve floral diversity

Quick Facts

  • During the study that began in November 2013, the Committee heard from 85 witnesses. Witnesses included officials from the federal and provincial governments of Canada, the European Union and Australia, as well as representatives from industry associations, civil society, and academia.

Le rapport du Comité sénatorial souligne l’importance de la santé

des abeilles pour une production alimentaire durable au Canada

OTTAWA (27 mai 2015) Le Comité sénatorial permanent de l’agriculture et des forêts dépose aujourd’hui son plus récent rapport intitulé : L’importance de la santé des abeilles pour une production alimentaire durable au Canada.

Le rapport contient neuf recommandations que le Comité estime essentielles à l’amélioration de la santé des abeilles. Entre autres, le Comité demande que l’Agence de réglementation de la lutte antiparasitaire (l’ARLA) continue de surveiller la mortalité des pollinisateurs au cours du printemps 2015 afin d’évaluer si les mesures de protection adoptées pour la saison d’ensemencement de 2014 sont efficaces. De plus, il recommande que l’ARLA termine, sans délai, sa réévaluation des insecticides de la classe des néonicotinoïdes en se basant sur des preuves et fondements scientifiques avec pour objectif de protéger la santé des abeilles.

« Vu l’importance des abeilles pour l’environnement et pour la production alimentaire canadienne, notre Comité sénatorial croit fermement dans la collaboration continue du gouvernement, des intervenants et des provinces pour examiner certaines mesures visant à améliorer la santé des pollinisateurs, notamment par l’intermédiaire du Forum sur la santé des abeilles, de la norme nationale de biosécurité à la ferme pour l’industrie apicole et de la réévaluation de trois pesticides de la catégorie des néonicotinoïdes. »

Sénateur Percy Mockler, président du Comité

« Compte tenu de la durée actuelle de l’homologation conditionnelle de certains insecticides néonicotinoïdes, le Comité croit que la durée de cette homologation devrait être réduite. Il est nécessaire que l’Agence de réglementation de la lutte antiparasitaire accélère son processus d’homologation conditionnelle afin de réduire le nombre d’homologations conditionnelles accordées aux substances actives à base de néonicotinoïdes. »

Sénatrice Claudette Tardif,  vice-présidente du Comité

Sommaire des recommandations du rapport

  • Permettre l’importation d’abeilles domestiques en provenance de pays étrangers, comme les États-Unis, tout en tenant compte de l’importance d’améliorer l’inspection de ces paquets;

  • Surveiller l’état de santé des abeilles, dans l’ensemble du pays, grâce à la mise en œuvre du projet de surveillance de la santé des abeilles de façon continue, plutôt que sur une période de quatre ans;

  • Accélérer la mise en œuvre de la norme nationale de biosécurité dans les ruches;

  • Réduire le nombre actuel d’homologations conditionnelles accordées pour les principes actifs appartenant à la famille des néonicotinoïdes;

  • Veiller, par l’entremise de vérifications effectuées par le commissaire à l’environnement et au développement durable, à ce que l’Agence de réglementation de la lutte antiparasitaire (ARLA) travaille à améliorer son processus d’homologation des pesticides;

  • Améliorer l’accès à de nouveaux pesticides, qui pourraient être utilisés de façon sécuritaire dans les ruches;

  • L’ARLA poursuit sa surveillance de la mortalité des abeilles et sa rééevaluation des trois néonicotinoides dans les plus brefs délais;

  • Augmenter le financement de la recherche sur la santé des pollinisateurs, ainsi que sa durée;

  • Améliorer les méthodes de gestion des apiculteurs et des producteurs tout en réduisant au minimum l’utilisation des produits chimiques et en faisant en sorte de pouvoir offrir des semences non traitées;

  • Améliorer l’habitat des pollinisateurs afin de parvenir à la diversité florale

Faits en bref

  • Durant son étude qui a commencé en novembre 2013, le Comité a entendu 85 témoins, notamment des représentants des gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux, de l’Union européenne et de l’Australie de même que des intervenants d’associations de l’industrie, de la société civile et du monde universitaire.








The White house today released its long awaited Strategy to Promote Polinator Health.  The report is below:


In a nutshell, the Strategy lays out current and planned Federal actions to achieve the following overarching goals;

• Honey Bees: Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter (overwintering mortality) to no more than 15% within 10 years. This goal is informed by the previously released Bee Informed Partnership surveys and the newly established quarterly and annual surveys by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Based on the robust data anticipated from the national, statistically-based NASS surveys of beekeepers, the Task Force will develop baseline data and additional goal metrics for winter, summer, and total annual colony loss.

• Monarch Butterflies: Increase the Eastern population of the monarch butterfly to 225 million butterflies occupying an area of approximately 15 acres (6 hectares) in the overwintering grounds in Mexico, through domestic/international actions and public-private partnerships, by 2020.

 •• Pollinator Habitat Acreage: Restore or enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next 5 years through Federal actions and public/private partnerships.


As part of its current food safety consultation with micro and small businesses, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will host a number of webinars and face-to-face discussion sessions across Canada. View the calendar on the CFIA website and register today: http://inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/acts-and-regulations/regulatory-initiatives/sfca/food-safety-systems/engagement-calendar/eng/1430926524014/1430926524717

Various resources are also available on the CFIA website to support micro and small businesses' understanding of certain key food safety elements: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/acts-and-regulations/regulatory-initiatives/sfca/food-safety-systems/what-it-means-for-your-business/eng/1427299500843/1427299800380          

Learn more about the consultation at www.inspection.gc.ca/safefood.

Dans le cadre de sa consultation actuelle sur la salubrité des aliments auprès des micro et petites entreprises, l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) tiendra des webinaires et des séances de discussion en personne à l’échelle du Canada. Vous pouvez consulter le calendrier sur le site Web de l’ACIA et vous inscrire dès aujourd’hui : http://inspection.gc.ca/au-sujet-de-l-acia/lois-et-reglements/initiatives-reglementaires/lsac/systemes-de-salubrite-des-aliments/calendrier-de-mobilisation/fra/1430926524014/1430926524717

Des ressources sont également disponibles sur le site Web de l’ACIA pour aider les micro et petites entreprises à mieux comprendre certains éléments clés liés à la salubrité des aliments : http://www.inspection.gc.ca/au-sujet-de-l-acia/lois-et-reglements/initiatives-reglementaires/lsac/systemes-de-salubrite-des-aliments/ce-que-cela-signifie-pour-votre-entreprise/fra/1427299500843/1427299800380

Pour de plus amples renseignements sur la consultation, consultez le site Web à l’adresse suivante : www.inspection.gc.ca/alimentssalubres.


PMRA update

Two pollinator protection docs have been updated on the PMRA web. See info below.

ENGLISH:  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/rss/cps-spc/pest-eng.xml

Requirement when using Treated Corn / Soybean Seed

Health Canada has revised the requirement to use a dust-reducing fluency agent to help reduce seed dust during planting corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides to allow for the use of new dust-reducing fluency agents. Talc and graphite are still not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides.


Pollinator Protection and Responsible Use of Treated Seed - Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. These practices include a requirement for the use of a dust-reducing fluency agent when using a seed flow lubricant in planting corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides. Talc and graphite are still not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides.


FRENCH:  http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/rss/cps-spc/pest-fra.xml

Exigence concernant l'utilisation de semences de maïs et de soja traitées

Santé Canada a révisé l'exigence relative à l'utilisation d'un agent de fluidité à faible émission de poussière afin d'aider à réduire la poussière produite pendant le semis des semences de maïs et de soja traitées avec des néonicotinoïdes et de permettre l'usage de nouveaux agents de fluidité à faible émission de poussière. Il est encore interdit d'utiliser du talc et du graphite comme lubrifiant pour faciliter l'écoulement des semences de maïs ou de soja traitées avec ces insecticides.


Protection des insectes pollinisateurs et utilisation responsable des semences traitées - Pratiques exemplaires de gestion

Vous trouverez ci-après des pratiques exemplaires de gestion, lesquelles permettent de réduire le risque d'exposition des abeilles et des autres insectes pollinisateurs à la poussière libérée par les semences traitées. Ces pratiques incluent une exigence concernant l'usage d'un agent de fluidité à faible émission de poussière durant le semis de graines de maïs ou de soja traitées aux néonicotinoïdes. Il est interdit d'utiliser du talc ou du graphite comme lubrifiant d'écoulement avec les semences de maïs ou de soja traitées avec ces insecticides.


AGM Information 

The 2014-14 Annual General Meeting recently concluded in Moncton, New Brunswick.  Over 150 bee-enthusiasts participated in workshops, seminars and meetings.  Particular thanks goes out to Ann Vautour and her team of volunteers for pulling off a very successful event without the co-operation of the weather!

For the Canadian Honey Council it allowed a time for face–to– face discussions on a number of important initiatives including labour, food safety, and bee health.  With regards to bee health the CHC passed a resolution that re-affirmed its existing position, but included the additional request of  supporting the basic principles of the Ontario government’s position paper on bee -" Be it resolved that the CHC make a public statement in support of the basic principles of the November 25, 2014 initiative by the Ontario Government."   This was, and is something that, despite all the rhetoric, the CHC has consistently done from the outset.   As the Canadian Honey Council has stated in the past, bee health can be affected by a number of variables and Ontario has identified four key areas for work.  Those areas are:

                Pollinator habitat and nutrition

                Disease pests and genetics

                Pesticide exposure

                Climate change and weather

From the outset on work on bee health at a national level, the Canadian Honey Council has been concentrating on similar goals and principles. The strategic plan put forward by the National Roundtable on Bee Health documents those similarities and also illustrates that the cooperative nature of the Roundtable can forcefully and effectively identify and put forth national work plans to address those issues.  Certainly, everyone has a different idea on how those goals can be achieved and the Canadian Honey Council clearly supports ways and means to achieve those goals that are science-based and are agreed upon mutually by all members of the agricultural sector.  While the needs and concerns of beekeepers are always the paramount concern, we also recognize that we are part of the bigger picture, and must work together, cooperatively and respectfully to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

The Government of Ontario should be commended for being one of the first provinces to announce their intention in developing a comprehensive plan for bee health.  We encourage them to collaborate with the National Bee Health Roundtable as well as to strive towards a plan that enhances the viability of, and is embraced by, the entire agricultural value chain.  We would also like to commend the work of the Ontario Beekeepers Association for encouraging the province to develop a pollinator strategy.  We look forward to a finalized plan that encourages advances in bee habitat, diseases and pest control, supports genetic research, and helps in the understanding of the effects of weather and climate change on bees. The Canadian Honey Council has an established track record of working with agricultural stakeholders in reducing potential exposures of bees to pesticides.   We reiterate our commitment to working with beekeepers and growers alike to promote the development and adoption of integrated pest management strategies that will help to improve bee health.

Additional resolutions passed at the AGM

In addition to a resolution calling for a public statement supporting the basic principles behind the Ontario government’s discussion paper, the CHC passed the following policy related resolutions:

BE IT RESOLVED: That Canadian Honey Council encourages members to review Manitoba’s “White Paper” document on Package Bee Imports from Northern California, as available on www.manitobabee.org.

BE IT RESOLVED:  That the Canadian Honey Council support reductions of all insecticides, especially those such as neonicotinoids that accumulate in the environment, to levels that are required for sustainable and profitable agricultural production, by the use of IPM. 

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Canadian Honey Council insure that the new grading and labelling regulations which were developed by Canadian Honey Council , Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the honey packers be included in developing the Safe Food for Canadians Act.

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Canadian Honey Council lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency around clearing up grade labelling confusion of non- Canadian Honey.

Notice Regarding Honey Shipments to Japan and India

On December 19, 2014, Canada was informed that Japan refused entry to a shipment of honey from Alberta due to the voluntary attestation that the level of residues for tylosin, one of four different antibiotics on the certificate of analysis accompanying the shipment, was below 0.001 ppm.  In the absence of an approved Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) specifically for honey, Japan is imposing a zero tolerance for the presence of this antibiotic residue in honey.

We have since determined that Japan notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in July 2013 of revisions to the standards for foods and food additives for two agricultural chemicals, including tylosin. However, although Japan listed honey as a product covered under WTO notification No. 319, in the absence of a Codex MRL, Canada did not provide comments regarding tylosin.  

We are aware that Health Canada (HC) is in the process of establishing an MRL of 0.2 ppm for tylosin in honey. The process is expected to be concluded in 2015, following consultations in 2014.  HC has indicated that they are willing to share scientific findings with Japanese officials to assist them in adopting Canada’s proposed MRL.  The Market Access Secretariat (MAS) will initiate the request for the Japanese authorities to adopt Canada’s MRL for tylosin in honey, once adopted domestically. However, this may not be an expeditious process.

In the meantime, we recommend that all Canadian honey exports to Japan be free from tylosin, given that any detectable levels of this veterinary drug in a shipment will likely result in refused entry.  Shipments where tylosin is declared on the certificate of analysis should be re-directed to other markets.

We will keep you appraised as the file evolves. Should you have additional questions, contact us via email at: mas-sam@agr.gc.ca





 Pesticide exposure statement

The Canadian Honey Council views pesticide exposure, both internally and externally as an extremely important bee health issue.  By working co-operatively with governments, agricultural producers, agri- chemical companies, equipment manufactures and beekeepers, significant improvements have been made that have mitigated exposure risks to honey bees.  Certainly more work needs to be done, and working together with all those involved in the agriculture sector, we are confident that more successes will be achieved.  Accusations of blame do not provide an environment that welcomes new and innovative solutions and as such we will continue to work together with all parties to ensure optimum bee health, and at the same time, uphold our responsibility to beekeepers all across Canada to represent their interest in a respectful manner.