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Labour Market Intelligence
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Labour Market Intelligence: CAHRC getting down to work

Ottawa, ON-- The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) is currently engaged in four research initiatives that brings a multitude of stakeholders together to review issues and identify solutions to the critical labour challenges facing the agricultural industry.

“The agricultural labour issues have reached a critical point,” explains Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, CAHRC Executive Director. “By building our labour market intelligence, evidence based policy can be developed and the industry can create meaningful plans to drive progress and find meaningful solutions.”

The first project is the Labour Market Information (LMI): Agricultural Supply and Demand Forecast Model. This three-year project defines a labour market information supply and demand model that will provide an overview of the current agricultural labour market and forecast labour supply and demand, provincially, nationally and by commodity. The project identifies labour and skill gaps, and investigates opportunities and barriers to participation among population groups that have been traditionally under-represented in the agricultural workforce (e.g. Aboriginal peoples, new Canadians, older workers).

The Conference Board of Canada is working with the CAHRC research team to clarify Canada’s agricultural labour market situation and future requirements. This research is guided by 55 active industry advisors. Over 1,100 industry stakeholders have participated in interviews, focus groups and surveys to inform this research, with plans to gather further stakeholder input and perspectives through various webinars. Final LMI research products will be disseminated in the fall of 2016.

The second project is the National Agricultural Occupational Framework (NAOF) and Labour Market Support. This project is clarifying a variety of much needed information about core jobs in agriculture and leveraging that information to build meaningful support tools to assist the sector to address its labour requirements and ensure the health and sustainability of Canada’s agricultural industry.  It is an in-depth study of the exact jobs and skills involved in today’s agricultural workforce.

Extensive progress has been made in developing the NAOF, an important foundational element that defines the work conducted in Canada’s modern agricultural industry. Over 70 industry leaders are guiding this effort to ensure accuracy and the development of meaningful tools and resources to support career awareness, selection, training, performance management, and business planning for the sector. To date, 20 National Occupational Standards have been developed with input from 270 industry stakeholders for the pork, sheep, aquaculture, beef and poultry commodities. The development of job seeker, employee, educational and employer support tools are underway. Enhancements are being made to the online learning resource for the industry, AgriTalent. The development of a National Agricultural Job Board with commodity specific and regional components is also ongoing with the launch of a pilot planned for the fall of 2015.

The third project is the Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan (WAP). The WAP was developed with extensive research over the last three years by an industry-led Labour Task Force (LTF) made up of representatives from all twelve of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Value Chain Roundtables. The LTF functions as a solution-oriented forum that examines issues of agriculture and agri-food labour management and shortages. The WAP initiative is being led by the Council to ensure implementation of documented recommendations of the LTF.

To date, 60 organizations are confirmed as Implementation Partners lending support, credibility and a sense of urgency to addressing labour issues for the industry. Recent research has focused on clarifying the impacts of labour shortage on competitiveness across all commodities and regions of the agriculture and agri-food sector. This has developed into a review of issues and solutions regarding the industry’s need for continued access to non-domestic agriculture workers with findings documented in an update to the WAP. Industry guidance for this initiative is provided through the Labour Task Force, the Policy and Programs Working Group, and the Value Chain Roundtables for each commodity. This stakeholder involvement is enhancing CAHRC’s Labour Market Intelligence function. WAP’s leadership will continue to communicate effective short, medium and longer term solutions to these and other agriculture labour issues.The final initiative is Supporting the Advancement of Women in Agriculture (SAWA). This project examines and addresses critical barriers to advancement facing women in the industry. The purpose of this initiative is to engage women and stakeholders within the agriculture community to develop and implement a strategic program to support improved access to leadership opportunities and strengthen business success for women working in agriculture.

The Council recently launched this research project with an announcement made during the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference in Calgary on April 7, 2015, followed by a media release, both of which generated extensive interest. Project partners and industry stakeholder are being gathered to populate Advisory Groups and Working Groups to support the initiative. The research exploring the issues is now underway and will be ongoing until 2017.

“Before you can fix a problem you have to know exactly what your problem is,” explains Mark Wales, Chair of CAHRC. “This research is going to answer that key question for Canada’s agricultural labour situation, and give direction to the Council in the development of the corrective policies, training and other actions.”

For more information on these and other research initiatives, visit CAHRC at www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.

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The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council works with industry leaders, governments and educational stakeholders to research, develop and communicate solutions to the challenges in employment and skills development in primary agriculture. The Council now leads collaborative implementation efforts in support of the national Workforce Action Plan for the agriculture and agri-food sector. For more information visit www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.

For more information contact:

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, Executive Director, CAHRC   E: macdonald-dewhirst@cahrc-ccrha.ca   T: 613-745-7457 ext. 222  

Mark Wales, CAHRC Chair            E : walesfarm@hotmail.com     T : 519-773-7352  C : 519-773-6706

Theresa Whalen, Communications & Marketing Specialist, CAHRC

Renseignements sur le marché du travail : le Conseil canadien pour les ressources humaines en agriculture se met à l’œuvre

Ottawa, Ontario -- Le Conseil canadien pour les ressources humaines en agriculture (CCRHA) travaille actuellement à quatre projets de recherche qui font appel à une multitude de collaborateurs afin d'examiner les graves problèmes de main-d'œuvre qu'affronte l'industrie agricole et de trouver des solutions.

« Les problèmes de main-d'œuvre en agriculture ont atteint un seuil critique », explique Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, directrice générale du CCRHA. « Réunir des renseignements sur le marché du travail favorise l'élaboration de politiques fondées sur des faits et la création par l’industrie de plans pertinents qui susciteront le progrès et permettront de trouver des solutions constructives », ajoute-t-elle.

Le premier projet se nomme Information sur le marché du travail : modèle de prévision de l’offre et de la demande dans le secteur agricole. Ce projet triennal a pour but de définir un modèle d’information sur l’offre et la demande du marché du travail qui offrira un survol de la situation actuelle du marché du travail et des prévisions concernant l’offre et la demande en matière de main-d’œuvre dans le secteur agricole, et ce, à l’échelle nationale et provinciale et par type de produits. Il permet aussi de déterminer où se trouvent les pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences et d’étudier les possibilités et les obstacles en ce qui concerne la participation de divers groupes au sein de la population du Canada traditionnellement sous-représentés dans la main-d’œuvre agricole (p. ex., les Autochtones, les néo-Canadiens et les travailleurs âgés).

Le Conference Board du Canada travaille avec l'équipe de recherche du CCRHA à clarifier la situation du marché du travail agricole canadien et ses futurs besoins. La recherche profite de l'orientation imprimée par 55 conseillers actifs de l'industrie. Plus de 1 100 intervenants de l'industrie ont participé à des entrevues, à des groupes de discussion et à des sondages afin d'éclairer la recherche, et on prévoit recueillir les opinions et les perspectives d'autres collaborateurs par la tenue de divers webinaires. Les produits finaux de la recherche d'information sur le marché du travail seront diffusés au cours de l'automne de 2016.

Le deuxième projet s'appelle Cadre national des professions agricoles et soutien du marché du travail. Il vise à trouver des réponses à une variété de questions cruciales que l’on se pose sur les postes essentiels en agriculture puis, à partir de ces réponses, à créer des outils de soutien utiles pour aider le secteur agricole du Canada à satisfaire ses besoins en main-d’œuvre et à assurer sa santé et sa viabilité.  Il s'agit d'une étude en profondeur des emplois offerts dans le marché du travail agricole d'aujourd'hui et des compétences que doivent posséder sa main-d'œuvre.

L'élaboration du cadre national, un élément essentiel définissant le travail effectué dans l'industrie agricole moderne au Canada, a considérablement progressé. Plus de 70 chefs de file de l'industrie orientent les activités du projet afin d'en assurer la précision, ainsi que l'élaboration d'outils et de ressources des plus utiles qui serviront à la sensibilisation des gens aux carrières en agriculture, à la sélection, à la formation et à la gestion du rendement des travailleurs et à la planification des affaires dans le secteur agricole. À ce jour, 20 normes professionnelles nationales ont vu le jour grâce à la contribution de 270 intervenants des industries porcine, ovine, aquacole, bovine et avicole. On procède aussi à l'élaboration d'outils de soutien à l'intention des chercheurs d'emploi, des employés, des fournisseurs de formation et des employeurs. AgriTalent.ca, la ressource d'apprentissage en ligne du CCRHA, fait également l'objet d'améliorations. Enfin, on s'attache à élaborer un guichet d'emploi agricole national qui portera notamment sur des types de production particuliers et comportera des composantes régionales. Le lancement d'un guichet pilote est prévu pour l'automne de 2015.

Le troisième projet est le Plan d'action canadien sur la main-d'œuvre du secteur agricole et agroalimentaire. Le plan a été élaboré à l’issue de nombreuses recherches effectuées au cours de trois dernières années par l’Équipe spéciale sur la main-d’œuvre (ESMO), formée de représentants des 12 tables rondes sur les chaînes de valeur d’Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada. L'ESMO agit comme un collectif axé sur les solutions qui examine les problèmes de gestion et de pénuries de main-d’œuvre dans le secteur agricole et agroalimentaire. Le CCRHA dirige l’exécution du Plan d'action sur la main-d'œuvre afin d'assurer la mise en œuvre des recommandations formulées par l'ESMO à la suite de recherches de données rigoureuses.

À ce jour, 60 organisations sont devenues partenaires de la mise en œuvre du plan, lui apportant leur crédibilité et confirmant qu'il y a urgence à prendre des mesures afin de régler les problèmes de main-d'œuvre de l'industrie. Une étude réalisée récemment visait à clarifier l'incidence des pénuries de main-d'œuvre sur la compétitivité parmi les types de production et les régions du secteur agricole et agroalimentaire. En est découlé un examen des problèmes qu’éprouve l’industrie à pouvoir recruter de façon continue des travailleurs agricoles étrangers et de solutions proposées. Ces problèmes et solutions ont été expliqués dans une mise à jour du Plan d'action canadien sur la main-d'œuvre. Le projet peut être mené grâce à l’orientation imprimée par l’industrie, par l’intermédiaire de l'ESMO, du Groupe de travail sur les politiques et les programmes et des tables rondes sur les chaînes de valeur de chaque domaine agricole et agroalimentaire. Une telle participation des collaborateurs de l’industrie rehausse la valeur de la fonction du CCRHA dans la recherche de renseignements sur le marché du travail. Les leaders du Plan d’action sur la main-d’œuvre continueront de communiquer des solutions à court, à moyen et à long terme efficaces aux problèmes susmentionnés et à d’autres défis que doit relever l’agriculture sur le plan de la main-d’œuvre.

Enfin, le quatrième projet, Appuyer l'avancement des femmes en agriculture, vise à examiner les principaux obstacles que doivent affronter les femmes en matière d'avancement dans l'industrie agricole. Il permettra de susciter la participation des femmes et des collaborateurs du milieu agricole à l'élaboration et à la mise en place d'un programme stratégique qui contribuera à améliorer l'accès des travailleuses en agriculture aux postes de direction et à favoriser leur réussite en affaires.

Le CCRHA a récemment procédé au lancement de ce projet de recherche et en a fait l'annonce au cours de la conférence Advancing Women in Agriculture tenue à Calgary le 7 avril 2015, suivi d'un communiqué, ce qui a suscité un extrême intérêt pour le projet. On procède en ce moment à la formation des groupes consultatifs et des groupes de travail qui appuieront le projet et on sonde l'intérêt des partenaires du projet et des collaborateurs de l'industrie. La recherche sur les obstacles à l'avancement des femmes est déjà en cours et se poursuivra jusqu'en 2017.


« Avant de pouvoir régler un problème, il faut en connaître la nature exacte », explique Mark Wales, président du conseil d'administration du CCRHA, qui ajoute : « Cette recherche répondra à une question essentielle sur la situation de la main-d'œuvre agricole au Canada et fournira une orientation au CCRHA dans l'élaboration de politiques correctrices, de possibilités de formation et d'autres mesures. »


Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements sur ces projets et d'autres initiatives de recherche, prière de visiter le site Web du CCRHA à www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.

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Le CCRHA travaille avec les leaders de l’industrie, les responsables gouvernementaux et les intervenants en éducation afin de chercher, d’élaborer et de communiquer des solutions aux défis auxquels fait face l’agriculture primaire au chapitre de l’emploi et du développement des compétences. Il dirige maintenant les efforts de collaboration visant la mise en œuvre du Plan d'action canadien sur la main-d'œuvre du secteur agricole et agroalimentaire. Pour en savoir davantage à ce sujet, visiter www.cahrc-ccrha.ca.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, prière de s'adresser à :

Portia MacDonald-Dewhirst, directrice générale, CCRHA

Courriel : macdonald-dewhirst@cahrc-ccrha.ca; téléphone : 613-745-7457, poste 222

Mark Wales, président du conseil d'administration du CCRHA

            Courriel : walesfarm@hotmail.com; téléphone : 519-773-7352   519-773-6706

Theresa Whalen, spécialiste des communications et du marketing, CCRHA

            Courriel : twhalen@cahrc-ccrha.ca; téléphone : 613-745-7457, poste 223

Fred Rathje and Willy Baumgartner Awards
Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Fred Rathje trophy is awarded annually to: "an individual who has made a significant positive contribution of innovative, creative and effective effort for the betterment of the Canadian honey bee industry".
The award is presented a the Annual General Meeting of the CHC this year in Saskatoon in early December 2015
The Willy Baumgartner Memorial Award is bestowed to a member of the beekeeping community who may not be a beekeeper but, has made an outstanding contribution to support Canadian beekeeping.
Willy promoted integrated management approaches to beekeeping and his business, Medivet Pharmaceuticals donated tens of thousands of dollars to research – all without any expectations or restrictions.

Please send nominations to:
Rod Scarlett, chc-ccm@honeycouncil.ca
Deadline is Oct. 30th 2015


Revised Draft LLP Policy and Implementation Framework for Grain / Ébauche de politique révisée sur la PFC et son cadre de mise e
Friday, April 10, 2015

The Government of Canada held a public consultation on Canada’s 2012 Proposed Domestic Policy on the Management of Low-Level Presence (LLP) of Genetically-Modified Crops in Imports and its Associated Implementation Framework from November 6, 2012 to January 19, 2013.

Feedback received through this consultation has led to a number of changes to the 2012 draft LLP policy and implementation framework (see www.agr.gc.ca/llp or new revised draft).

To facilitate the understanding of the policy development process, the revised draft LLP policy and implementation framework includes a preamble that describes changes made to the 2012 policy proposal and lists the outstanding policy and implementation issues.

Resolving these outstanding complex issues will require further analysis and work with stakeholders and international partners. A decision regarding when to implement the policy will take place once the policy is finalized, and will take into account benefits and potential risks.

Comments on this revised draft policy and implementation framework may be sent to LLP-PFC@agr.gc.ca




Le gouvernement du Canada a tenu des consultations publiques sur le projet de politique nationale sur la gestion de la présence de faibles concentrations (PFC) de cultures génétiquement modifiées dans les importations et son cadre de mise en œuvre connexe (2012), du 6 novembre 2012 au 19 janvier 2013.

Les commentaires recueillis dans le cadre de ces consultations ont mené à de nombreux changements à la version 2012 du projet de politique et son cadre de mise en œuvre (voir www.agr.gc.ca/pfc ou l’ébauche de politique révisée).

Afin de faciliter la compréhension du processus de développement de la politique, l’ébauche de politique révisée sur la PFC inclut un préambule qui décrit les principaux changements apportés au projet de politique de 2012 ainsi que les questions en suspens.

La résolution de ces questions complexes exigera une analyse plus approfondie et une collaboration avec les intervenants et les partenaires internationaux. Une décision concernant la mise en œuvre de la politique ne sera prise qu’une fois la politique finalisée, tout en tenant compte des avantages ainsi que des risques possibles.

Les commentaires sur l’ébauche de politique révisée et son cadre de mise en œuvre peuvent être envoyés à LLP-PFC@agr.gc.ca


Government of Canada’s Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use
Friday, April 10, 2015

I am pleased to inform you of the release of the Government of Canada’s Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use, and the first integrated Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) report.

The Action Plan builds on the previously released Federal Framework for Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and outlines concrete Government of Canada actions to prevent, limit and control the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Partners in this Action Plan include the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Industry Canada and the National Research Council.

Activities are described under the four actions in the surveillance, stewardship and innovation areas of focus. In addition, a new section outlines the Government of Canada’s commitment to a leadership role both domestically and internationally.

The Action Plan is intended to ensure that all partners and stakeholders are aware of Government of Canada actions in this area and will be used to facilitate a dialogue with key partners in developing comprehensive and coordinate approaches to address AMR in Canada.

As announced in the Federal Framework, the Public Health Agency is establishing CARSS, a new, integrated antimicrobial use and resistance surveillance system which pulls together and analyzes information from existing Agency surveillance systems.  The CARSS report is the first result of this new surveillance approach, providing an integrated analysis of existing human and animal data.  

It is designed to provide all stakeholders with an enhanced ability to monitor ongoing public health issues, identify emerging issues, and protect the health of Canadians.

CARSS will still rely on data from its existing Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP), the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) and other relevant systems, but will be the focal point for the integration and evolution of the Agency’s surveillance programs.  It will amalgamate available antimicrobial resistance data, and clearly articulate and track antimicrobial resistance at a national level. Future CARSS activities and reports will consider stakeholder feedback on this first report.  

Below are the web links to the Federal Action Plan and the first integrated CARSS report.




J'ai le plaisir de vous informer du lancement de la publication du Plan d'action fédéral sur la résistance et le recours aux antimicrobiens du gouvernement du Canada et du premier rapport intégré du Système canadienne de surveillance de la résistance aux antimicrobiens (SCSRA).

Le Plan d'action s'appuie sur le document Résistance et recours aux antimicrobiens au Canada : Cadre d'action fédéral, déjà publié, et il décrit les mesures concrètes du gouvernement du Canada afin de prévenir, de limiter et de contrôler l'émergence et la propagation de la résistance aux antimicrobiens (RAM). Les partenaires ayant contribué à ce Plan d'action comprennent l'Agence de la santé publique du Canada, Santé Canada, les Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, l'Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments, Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada, Industrie Canada et le Conseil national de recherches Canada.

Les activités sont décrites selon les quatre mesures dans les domaines prioritaires (surveillance, intendance et innovation). De plus, une nouvelle section décrit l'engagement du gouvernement du Canada à l'égard d'un rôle de leadership à l'échelle nationale et internationale.

Le Plan d'action vise à s'assurer que tous les partenaires et intervenants sont au courant des mesures prises par le gouvernement du Canada dans ce domaine, et il servira à faciliter un dialogue avec les partenaires clés afin d'élaborer des approches complètes et coordonnées pour lutter contre la résistance aux antimicrobiens au Canada.

Comme il est indiqué dans le cadre fédéral, l'Agence de la santé publique du Canada (l'Agence) établit le Système canadienne de surveillance de la résistance aux antimicrobiens (SCSRA), un nouveau système intégré pour la surveillance du recours et de la résistance aux antimicrobiens qui permet de rassembler et d'analyser les renseignements provenant des systèmes de surveillance existants de l'Agence. Le rapport du SCSRA est le premier résultat de cette nouvelle approche en matière de surveillance; il offre une analyse intégrée des données existantes sur les humains et les animaux.

Il vise à fournir à tous les intervenants une plus grande capacité à surveiller les problèmes de santé publique continus, à déterminer les nouveaux enjeux et à protéger la santé des Canadiens.

Le SCSRA continuera de se baser sur les données de son Programme canadien de surveillance des infections nosocomiales existant, du Programme intégré canadien de surveillance de la résistance aux antimicrobiens (PICRA) et d'autres systèmes pertinents, mais il sera l'élément central de l'intégration et de l'évolution des programmes de surveillance de l'Agence. Il fusionnera les données disponibles sur la résistance aux antimicrobiens et il décrira clairement la résistance aux antimicrobiens à l'échelle nationale, en plus d'en assurer le suivi. Les prochaines activités et les prochains rapports du SCSAR tiendront compte des commentaires des intervenants au sujet de ce premier rapport.

Veuillez trouver ci-dessous les liens web pour le Plan d'action fédéral et le premier rapport intégré.



Ron Gerold


Industry Engagement Division
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada / Government of Canada
Tel: 613-773-1694


Division de la consultation du secteur

Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada / Gouvernement du Canada

Tél. : 613-773-1694

CHC /CSTA news release
Friday, December 12, 2014

News Release

December 12, 2014

In 2011, the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) and a number of industry partners began discussions on ways to improve honey bee health.  As discussions progressed, the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA) in close consultation with its corn and soybean company members and the CHC took a significant step forward to mitigate risk to pollinators by recently implementing a major pesticide reduction program for corn and soybean seed sold in Canada. By reducing the application rate of seed applied insecticides and introducing more fungicide only options this industry lead program is estimated to see an overall reduction of the pesticide load across Canada in 2015 by 15% in corn and 9% in soybeans.  In 2016 the reduction will climb to 31% in corn and 18% in soybeans for a combined overall pesticide reduction of 24%. This will significantly reduce the amount of seed applied insecticide used in Ontario; the province with the largest acreage of corn and soybeans.

The CHC is extremely pleased with this major reduction strategy as it shows the value of cooperation and consultation with industry partners.  Canadian Honey Council Chair Gerry McKee said “It is our responsibility to beekeepers across Canada to look at ways and means to mitigate the risk of pesticide exposure to honey bees, and working with our industry partner, the Canadian Seed Trade Association has instituted a major step forward in addressing this goal.  They must be commended for taking this step forward.”

CSTA is committed to working together with our agriculture and apiculture value chain partners and provincial and federal regulators to ensure that pollinator health is protected and enhanced while ensuring that growers have access to the latest technologies that they need to be successful. “CSTA and the Canadian Honey Council came together in the spirit of collaboration to ensure that both of our sectors remain environmentally sustainable and economically viable,” said Dave Baute, President of the Canadian Seed Trade Association. “Both associations agreed to work together based on mutual respect and understanding and have just taken a significant non-regulatory step forward to ensuring a prosperous apiculture and agriculture industry in Ontario and across Canada.”

The Canadian Honey Council believes that this announcement underscores the importance of having stakeholders at the table as it is an invaluable asset for agriculture in general.  To date, there has been considerable work done in both pesticide reduction strategies and bee health initiatives by farm organizations, equipment manufacturers, federal and provincial governments and by the life sciences companies. 

The Canadian Honey council represents over 8000 beekeepers in Canada.

For further information contact

Rod Scarlett

Executive Director

Canadian Honey Council

Phone:  1-877-356-8935

E-mail: chc-ccm@honeycouncil.ca


Dave Carey

Manager, Policy Initiatives

Canadian Seed Trade Association

E-mail: dcarey@cdnseed.org


2014 honey statistics
Wednesday, December 10, 2014



PMRA releases Update on Neonicotinoid Pesticides and Bee Health
Tuesday, January 6, 2015




Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey Industry - 2013
Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Horticulture and Cross Sectoral Division of the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is pleased to present the latest report: “Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey Industry - 2013”. This report has been prepared by Ana Tavares.

The report provides a comprehensive summary of the honey industry statistics. It contains tables and charts about Canadian honey production, numbers of beekeepers and bee colonies, revenue, consumption and trade statistics.

Some highlights from the report are:

  • The vast majority of bee colonies are kept in the Prairies, where long summer days are ideal for foraging. Consequently, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta collectively accounted for 84% of the country’s total honey production in 2013.
  • Canadian honeybee colonies yielded more than 75 million pounds of honey in 2013, down 16% from 2012. Despite this decline in volume, higher prices meant that the total value of honey produced in Canada totalled just over $176 million in 2013, down only 1% from 2012.
  • The past years have seen a reversal of the decades-long trend of declining numbers of beekeepers. From 2009 to 2013, there has been a steady increase in the number of beekeepers, with 2013 figures showing an increase of 21% from 2009.
  • After a five-year steady increase of number of colonies, the country’s total number of colonies decreased in 2013, down 3% from 2012.
  • Total Canadian honey exports decreased from $72.3 million in 2012 to $59.1 million in 2013, down 19%.
  • Canadian honey imports totaled $26 million in 2013.

The key resources used in the preparation of this document are Statistics Canada and Global Trade Atlas.  The report will be available online shortly but in the meantime, copies can be requested by emailing us at horticultureAAFC-AAC@agr.gc.ca

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be interested in reading this report. Please email us to share your comments, questions and suggestions.

La Division de l’horticulture et des enjeux pan sectoriels de la Direction du développement et analyse du secteur est heureux de présenter  le dernier rapport : «Aperçu statistique de l’industrie du miel du Canada – 2013 ». Ce rapport a été préparé par Ana Tavares.

Le rapport fournit un résumé exhaustif des données statistiques  de l’industrie du miel dans un document. Il contient des tableaux et des graphiques sur la production canadienne de miel, le nombre d’apiculteurs et de colonies d’abeilles, les revenus, consommation et échanges commerciaux.

Quelques faits saillants du rapport sont :

  • La majorité des colonies d’abeilles se trouvent dans les Prairies, où les longs jours d’été sont idéals pour butiner. Par conséquent, le Manitoba, la Saskatchewan et l’Alberta se sont partagés 84 % de la production nationale de miel en 2013.
  • Les colonies d’abeilles domestiques au Canada ont produit plus de 75 millions de livres de miel en 2013, soit un déclin de 16 % par rapport à 2012. Malgré cette baisse de volume, la hausse des prix a fait en sorte que la valeur totale du miel produit au Canada a atteint un peu plus de 176 M$ en 2013, soit une légère baisse de 1 % par rapport à 2012.
  • Au cours des dernières années, on a constaté un renversement de la tendance à la baisse observée durant des décennies au chapitre du nombre d’apiculteurs. Le nombre d’apiculteurs a augmenté de façon constante de 2009 à 2013; les données de 2013 affichant une augmentation de 21 % par rapport à 2009.
  • Après une augmentation régulière du nombre de colonies au cours  de cinq dernières années, le nombre total de colonies au Canada a diminué en 2013, en baisse de 3% par rapport à 2012.
  • Le total des exportations de miel canadien ont diminué de 72,3 M$ en 2012 à 59,1 M$ en 2013, en baisse de 19%.
  • Les importations canadiennes de miel ont totalisé 26 M$ en 2013.

Les sources principales utilisées dans la préparation de ce document sont Statistique Canada et Atlas du commerce mondial.  Le rapport sera disponible un ligne sous peu, mais en attendant, des copies peuvent être demandées par courriel à horticultureAAFC-AAC@agr.gc.ca.

N’hésitez pas à transmettre ce message à tous ceux qui pourraient être intéressés par ce rapport. Veuillez nous écrivez pour partager vos commentaires, questions et suggestions.




Bee Healthy Roadmap released by the Honey Bee Health Coalition
Tuesday, January 6, 2015


The Canadian Honey Council is proud to be a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, a coalition of more than 30 organizations and agencies from across food, agriculture, government and conservation working to improve the health of honey bees in North America.  The Coalition recently released its Bee Healthy Roadmap, a roadmap to improve honey bee health through collective action that will accomplish more than any one group can achieve on its own.  
Facing unacceptable declines in honey bee health, the Coalition’s Bee Healthy Roadmap lays out specific priorities and actions that it will take to reverse these declines and improve the health of honey bees and other pollinators. The Bee Healthy Roadmap identifies four priority areas that need immediate and consistent action from partners across the landscape. These include improving Hive Management, Forage & Nutrition, Crop Pest Management, and Cross-Industry Education, Outreach and Coordination. 
The Roadmap also provides a framework for ongoing collaboration inviting anyone with a vested interest in honey bee health to work together to achieve its vision of Healthy Honey Bees, Healthy People, Healthy Planet.   
To learn more about the Honey Bee Health Coalition and view the Bee Healthy Roadmap visit www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org  or view the roadmap here:   



CFIA document review
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has drafted two documents, which are now available for comment. The documents are as follows:

Draft Compliance Promotion Strategy - describes how the CFIA, other governments, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and consumers can work together to promote regulated parties’ compliance with the CFIA's legislative requirements.


Draft Compliance, Control and Enforcement Framework - describes the CFIA’s vision and approach for facilitating and verifying compliance, preventing non-compliance, controlling risk and responding to non-compliance.


Interested parties may provide comments by October 31, 2014 to: CFIA-Modernisation-ACIA@inspection.gc.ca. Correspondence should clearly indicate the name of the document being commented on in the subject line. Following the consultation period, the CFIA will review and consider comments received before finalizing the two documents.

Thank you for your participation.


L’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) a rédigé deux documents et les a rendus disponibles pour commentaires. Ces documents sont les suivants :

La version préliminaire de la stratégie de promotion de la conformité - décrit comment l’ACIA, les autres ministères, l’industrie, le milieu universitaire, les organismes non gouvernementaux et les consommateurs peuvent travailler ensemble pour promouvoir la conformité des parties réglementées aux exigences législatives de l’ACIA.


La version préliminaire du Cadre de conformité, de contrôle et d’application de la loi - décrit la vision et l’approche de l’ACIA pour faciliter et vérifier la conformité, prévenir la non-conformité, contrôler le risque et répondre aux manquements.


Les personnes intéressées peuvent soumettre leurs commentaires d’ici le 31 octobre 2014 à : CFIA-Modernisation-ACIA@inspection.gc.ca. Veuillez clairement indiquer dans l'objet du message le nom du document sur lequel portent vos commentaires. À l'issue de la période de consultation, l’ACIA examinera les observations reçues avant de finaliser les deux documents.

Merci de votre participation

Canola Council of Canada videos
Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Canola Council filmed some interviews with beekeepers and canola growers in field last summer, talking about how they get along and work together.  They have  cut them into a few videos; some for consumers, and one specifically for famers. They are currently hosting them on their YouTube channel, and will be screening them for all interested parties. We’re excited for the opportunity to tell our story, which is one we believe to be a good news story for western Canadian agriculture.  The link is:  http://www.canolacouncil.org/media/video-gallery/bees-and-canola/

1.            Canola and Bees: Working together

2.            Canola and Bees: A sweet relationship

3.            Canola and Bees: Producing premium honey

4.            Bee Health: A concern of two industries

CFIA Consultations
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) invites your feedback on its discussion paper entitled CFIA Guidance Documents: Supporting Compliance with the Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

The CFIA is committed to providing information to stakeholders that will increase their understanding of the requirements of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations once they come into force.



L’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) vous invite à fournir vos commentaires sur son document de discussion intitulé « Documents d’orientation de l’ACIA: Soutenir la conformité avec la proposition de Règlement sur la salubrité des aliments au Canada ».

L’ACIA est résolue à fournir des renseignements aux intervenants qui amélioreront leur compréhension des exigences du projet de règlement sur la salubrité des aliments au Canada une fois celui-ci en vigueur.



CAPA Statement on Honey Bee Losses in Canada (2014) – Published July 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Since 2007 CAPA has compiled and published statistics for Canadian honey bee colony losses. These statistics provide an ongoing picture of the health of apiculture in Canada.  The link to the CAPA website is below as well as the link to the PDF version of the report.



CFIA Draft Integrated Agency Inspection Model document
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The draft Integrated Agency Inspection Model document is now available for comment:


Consultation on the integrated model includes parties regulated under the Seeds, Fertilizer, Plant Breeders Rights, Plant Protection, Feeds and Health of Animals Acts, as well as those regulated under the Safe Food for Canadians Act.

Comments received will then be used to finalize the Integrated Agency Inspection Model, which will replace the Improved Food Inspection Model.

La version préliminaire du Modèle d’inspection intégré de l’Agence est maintenant accessible:


Le modèle d’inspection intégré fera d’abord l’objet de consultations inclus des parties réglementées aux termes de la Loi sur les semences, de la Loi sur les engrais, de la Loi sur la protection des obtentions végétales, de la Loi relative aux aliments du bétail et de la Loi sur la santé des animaux, ainsi que des parties réglementées visées par la Loi sur la salubrité des aliments au Canada.

Les commentaires reçus seront pris en compte lors de l’élaboration de la version finale du Modèle d’inspection intégré de l’Agence, qui remplacera le Modèle amélioré d’inspection des aliments.

Health Canada Nutritional Labelling Changes
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the launch of the second phase of consultations associated with the 2013 Speech from the Throne commitment to consult with parents and consumers on how to improve the way nutrition information is presented on food labels (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/minist/messages/_2014/2014_07_14-eng.php).

In conjunction with this announcement, Health Canada's Food Directorate has made available five (5) associated technical consultation documents that are open for comment starting today and closing on September 12, 2014.  

The five consultation documents are:

1)  Health Canada’s Proposed Serving Size Guidance - Standardizing serving sizes to facilitate consumer understanding and use of the Nutrition Facts table (NFt)
2)   Health Canada’s Proposed Revisions to Reference Amounts in Schedule M of the Food and Drug Regulations - Updating reference amounts to support proposed new serving size guidelines
3)  Health Canada’s Proposed Changes to the Daily Values (DVs) for Use in Nutrition Labelling
4)  Health Canada’s Proposed Changes to the Core Nutrients Declared in the Canadian Nutrition Facts Table
5)  Health Canada’s Proposed Changes to the Format Requirements for the Display of Nutrition and Other Information on Food Labels

These consultation documents can be found on the Food and Nutrition's Public Involvement and Partnerships page on Health Canada's website at: http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consult/index-eng.php

Stakeholder feedback is an important component to ensuring that the changes being proposed will achieve the objective of improving the way nutritional information is presented on food labels to allow Canadians make more healthy, informed food decisions.  Therefore, your feedback on these proposed changes is appreciated.


CFIA consultion- Agency Inspection
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The draft Integrated Agency Inspection Model document is now available for comment:


La version préliminaire du Modèle d’inspection intégré de l’Agence est maintenant accessible:


CFIA Consultation - Food Program
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The CFIA invites your feedback on the food program framework.


L'ACIA vous invite à faire part de vos commentaires sur une cadre proposé sur la cadre du programme de salubrité des aliments.


Revised Corn Dust Research Consortium Report
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

To view a copy of the revised report go to:


NSERC-CANPOLIN is pleased to launch floral calendar for all of Canada.
Monday, March 31, 2014

Honey & Pollen Plants for Canada`s Beekeepers

An Annotated Floral Calendar  




(A mobile version of the website is also available - click here )


The electronic floral calendar offers information on over 270 honey and pollen plants found across Canada, including the type of resource it provides for bees (nectar, pollen, resins) and photos to aid in identification. The list of plants is easily searched by the scientific and common names or by blooming season (Spring, Summer, Fall).


Why Make a Floral Calendar?  Beekeepers are naturally interested in the flowers that provide sustenance for their bees.  Some flowers provide mostly nectar which the bees make into honey, others produce only pollen which is the protein source for bee nutrition, and most produce both.  Beekeepers find it useful to know what flowers are in bloom and when in their area of operation.  Books on the floral resources used by honeybees have always been part of beekeeping lore, and the new website makes this information readily available to anyone with internet access. 


The new site builds on the floral calendar previously created for Ontario beekeepers that was developed with funding from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and launched in late 2013.  The expanded national version was created with in-kind support from NSERC-CANPOLIN and Seeds of Diversity, which is the official home of Pollination Canada.

Canadian Honey Council’s Submission to Health Canada’s call for comments on notice of intent NO12013-01
Monday, January 13, 2014


The Canadian Honey Council represents over 8000 beekeepers managing over 700,000 colonies from across Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has estimated that pollinators contribute over $2.3 billion to the Canadian economy. Honey bees and the protection of pollinators in general have taken a centre stage as a result of pesticide incidents and exposure and the CHC would like to express its appreciation for the work that the PMRA has, and continues to do. However, in certain regions of Canada, our beekeepers are suffering from the prophylactic use of seed treatments and Canada’s pesticide regulatory agency must take rapid action to reduce/eliminate the ongoing impacts of pesticide use on bees.

The Canadian Honey Council recognizes that growers, regulators, and beekeepers need to work together to mitigate risks and believes it is imperative that the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments must be reduced, and where problems exist, they must be addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.  With support from growers and their organizations, the CHC would like to see implementation of integrated pest management procedures and a significant use reduction of neonicotinoids in those corn and soy growing areas where current problems have been identified.  This reduction should happen in the immediate future as the current situation has jeopardized many beekeeping operations.   Co-operative efforts for this to occur need to be undertaken immediately.

Comments concerning requiring the use of safer dust-reducing seed flow lubricants

The introduction of a new seed flow lubricant with lower dust emission is a positive point but may not be a definitive solution.  Although we are not privy to the testing results, we certainly hope that it lowers neonicotinoid levels in the environment, however, there could still be the possibility of the distribution for neonicotinoids through its systemic nature that warrants more investigation and study by PMRA.  The impacts of neonicotinoids on bees results from their overexposure to this new substance in numerous specific conditions. This overexposure results from both the extensive use of the products as protection on specific crops and it would appear, from the extended exposure period for the pollinators through the season.

Furthermore, while the new lubricant may theoretically reduce the number of acute toxicity incidents by lowering the amount of dust in the air, it may not be the case if the neonicotinoids are used in higher concentrations (Poncho 500 instead of Poncho 250). Bees will still be exposed though various routes like run off water, pollen or nectar at levels that may be problematic.  Again, more research is required to determine the extent but the time required to obtain the research must not interfere with the short term need to reduce the use of these pesticides.

There is a growing body of evidence that the neonicotinoid charge in the environment is building up with the years of continuous use and both the level of exposure and the impacts for the pollinators seem to be increasing particularly in corn and soy growing areas. For instance, there is an indication that bee intoxications caused by the water puddles, is an emergent problem.

Comments on requiring adherence to safer seed planting practices

While recognizing that beekeepers are not necessarily crop producers it is apparent that certain measures are vague: good practices are not specified. Promoting vague good practice measures is not an adequate answer when the problem results from overuse and not misuse. No misuse has been documented so far. The actual proposal focuses for good practices strictly on planting. While planting is indeed important, the focus must be enlarged and cover, upstream, the necessity or not to use neonicotinoid treated seeds. The first and most important good practice is to use neonicotinoid treated seeds (or other phytosanitary treatments) only after verifying for the presence of soil damaging pests at levels exceeding economical thresholds.

With the assistance and active involvement of farm organizations whose members are growers of crops that use treated seed, supported as well by the companies that developed and apply the product, crop producers must be convinced that accurate agronomic information pertaining to pests can be obtained in the fall.  That information can result in the planting of seed with or without pesticides and that their bottom line will not be adversely affected.  In conjunction with the options available to producers, seed companies should then be able to make available an array of products that are appropriate for the risk. The CHC strongly suggests that Integrated Pest Management procedures should actively be promoted by PMRA.

Comments on requiring new pesticide and seed package labels with enhanced warnings

Labeling is an important point, but here again the measure is too vague. The nature of the information on the label is of paramount importance. It should, at the very least, cover the following aspects:

a)  danger for the pollinators and routes of exposure (mentioning dust, foraging for water, nectar and pollen).

b)  mitigation measures to reduce dust emission (approved lubricant, other good practices refer to external document and/or website)

The Canadian Honey Council also feels that it would be very beneficial if there was strong and prescriptive of wording that recommended crop producers have agronomic testing done each fall to determine the need for purchase of treated seed.  This reinforces and educates producers while at the same time helps promote an integrated pest management system.

Comment on requiring updated value information be provided to support the continued need for neonicotinoid treatment on up to 100% of the corn seed and 50% of the soybean seed.

Data requested from the registrants on the need for continuous use of neonicotinoids must be obtained expeditiously and if it is not delivered in a timely manner, other peer reviewed science based research sources should be considered.  As PMRA states in the Notice of intent:  the use of neonicotinoids is unsustainable. The Canadian Honey Council recognizes that seed treatments used in an Integrated Pest Management strategy are an important tool for growers across Canada.  We strongly encourage PMRA to evaluate the need for massive prophylactic seed treatment particularly given the fact that in all likelihood systemic seed treatment will be the wave of the future.

Working cooperatively with all players in the industry, and where economics and agronomics dictate, the Canadian Honey Council would like to see the implementation of integrated pest management procedures and a rapid and important reduction in the use of treated seed in corn and soy.  Equally important is that we examine ways to reduce the risk of exposure to honey bees when use is required (according to specific technical standard).


Rod Scarlett, Executive Director, Canadian Honey Council

Risk assessment for US Honey Bees CHC Response
Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Dr. Francine Lord,
Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer

Re: Risk Assessment for US Honey Bees

The Canadian Honey Council is the umbrella organization of the provincial associations and as such recognizes that there are many regional differences.  The feasibility of importing packaged bees from the United States is a divisive issue within the beekeeping community.  In some regions it represents a top priority, in others not so much.  We are pleased that the CFIA conducted a risk assessment and have asked for comments.  Whatever the final outcome, rest assured that the health and wellbeing of Canadian bee stock is a priority of the CHC.  

Because most provinces have their own Bee Act or something similar, the CHC has decided not to weigh in on the pros and cons of importing packages, but will ask that decisions be based on science and not just economics.  Each provincial association, in addition to individual beekeepers will be expressing their opinion independent from the national organization.  The CHC would, however, request that we be included in any consultation or decision making process on this issue.  

Once again, we would like to express our appreciation for the work CFIA has done on this file and encourage you to continually update the risk assessment as new information is received.



Gerry McKee
Canadian Honey Council


Thursday, November 7, 2013

By now many of you will have received a package of information in which there is a "Honey Bee Producer Guide to the National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard".  This document is the culmination of a coperative effort between beekeepers, Provincial Apiarists, and CFIA.  This tool will provide practical guidance, tidbits of information for beekeepers to keep in mind in order to assist them in ensuring their operations minimize the threat of disease, pests, pathogens and parasites.  It represents an important step in the growth of the industry as it recognizes the importance, and the vulnerability, of the bekeeping industry in Canada.  The Government of Canada should be congratulated for investing in our industry in such an important way.  It is hoped that beekeepers take the time to review the information and adopt those practices that are relevant to their operation.  If you would like a copy of the Guide, please see the see thefollowing:

Link to the National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard


PMRA's detailed evaluation report on the Canadian 2012 honey bee mortalities
Download English version (6.9MB)
Download French version (7.5MB)

Notice of Intent: Action to Protect Bees from Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides / Avis d’intention : Mesure visant à protéger
Monday, September 16, 2013

Health Canada is publishing a Notice of Intent to solicit comments on its intended measure to mitigate risks to pollinators related to the use of neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed. The document and contact information to submit comments can be found at:


If you have any further questions please contact the Pest Management Information Service by email at pmra.infoserv@hc-sc.gc.ca or by phone at 1-800-267-6315.


Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey Industry - 2012
Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Horticulture and Cross Sectoral Division of the Sector Development and Analysis Directorate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is pleased to present the latest report: “Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey Industry - 2012”. This report has been prepared by Nili Katz and Anthony Ragoo.

The report provides a comprehensive summary of the honey industry statistics. It contains tables and charts about Canadian honey production, numbers of beekeepers and bee colonies, revenue, consumption and trade statistics.

Some highlights from the report are:
• The vast majority of bee colonies are kept in the Prairies, where long summer days are ideal for foraging. Consequently, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta collectively accounted for 85% of the country’s total honey production in 2012.
• The industry as a whole recorded a 15% annual increase in the value of honey produced, from $151 million in 2011 to $173 million in 2012.
• The past five years have seen a reversal of the decades-long trend of declining numbers of beekeepers. From 2008 to 2012, there has been a steady increase in the number of beekeepers, with 2012 figures showing an increase of 17% from 2008.
• All provinces except Saskatchewan saw an increase in the number of beekeepers in 2012.
• The country’s total number of colonies has also steadily increased from 2008, showing an overall growth of 24%.
• Total Canadian honey exports increased from $38.5 million in 2011 to $73.2 million in 2012, up 90%. This can be attributed an increase in exports to the United States and higher prices for honey in 2012.
• Canadian honey imports totaled $15 million in 2012.

The key resources used in the preparation of this document are Statistics Canada and Global Trade Atlas.


CAPA Statement on Honey Bee Wintering Losses in Canada (2013)
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

In 2013, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) National Survey committee developed a core set of questions that the Provincial Apiarists’ surveys could use to report on honey bee wintering losses in their province.  The following report is a summary of the reported winter losses from the provincial surveys.

View report here

CFIA Food inspection model
Monday, August 12, 2013

CFIA improved food inspection model available online

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has concluded consultations on an improved food inspection model and has posted the final document to the Agency’s external website. The model has been built by stakeholders and proposes a single and consistent approach to food inspection across all regulated food commodities – whether imported, exported or prepared domestically for sale across provincial borders or internationally.
To view the CFIA’s food inspection model, visit the CFIA website at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/eng/1372168382925/1372178578738


Le modèle amélioré d’inspection des aliments de l’ACIA est disponible en ligne

L’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) a terminé les consultations sur le modèle amélioré d’inspection des aliments et a publié la version définitive du document sur le site externe de l’Agence. Le modèle a été établi par les intervenants et propose une approche unique et cohérente pour l’inspection de l’ensemble des produits alimentaires réglementés, qu’ils soient importés, exportés ou préparés au Canada à des fins de vente dans d’autres provinces et à l’échelle internationale.
Pour consulter le modèle d’inspection des aliments de l’ACIA, veuillez visiter le site Web de l’ACIA à l’adresse : http://www.inspection.gc.ca/fra/1372168382925/1372178578738


Production and Value of Honey 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012

Canadian beekeepers produced 90.9 million pounds of honey in 2012, a 13.8% increase from 2011. Canada had 8,126 beekeepers in 2012, 413 more than in 2011.
On average, each colony had a yield of 129 pounds, which was 3.5 pounds more than in 2011.
The number of managed colonies increased 10.7 from 637,900 to 706,400. The increase was a result of favourable weather conditions that resulted in low winter losses, particularly in the western provinces. Other contributing factors were overwintering and colony splitting.
Honey production in Alberta, the top producer in Canada, amounted to 40.5 million pounds, up 19% from 34.0 million pounds in 2011. Yields rose from 124 pounds per colony to 144 pounds.
In Saskatchewan, the increased number of colonies contributed to the increase in honey production from 15.9 million pounds in 2011 to 23.1 million pounds in 2012.
In contrast, production in Manitoba fell 14.3% following a wet spring and hot summer. Each colony in Manitoba had a yield of 165 pounds in 2012, down from 200 pounds in 2011.
In 2011, the total value of honey produced in Canada amounted to $151 million, up 4.5% from 2010.
The average price per gallon in Ontario was $64.49 in 2012, down from $66.72 in 2011. In Quebec, the average price per gallon remained relatively steady at $38.34, compared with $38.09 in 2011.


Health Canada - Ontario Bee Incidents
Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 - Update
This spring, beginning in April 2012, incidents of bee mortality were reported by beekeepers across southern Ontario. Timing and location of these incidents appears to have generally coincided with corn planting. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has been working with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to evaluate the role pesticides may have played in these bee losses. Initial analyses of the circumstances surrounding the bee losses indicate that there was no pesticide misuse.
Samples of affected bees were taken at many incident locations and are being analyzed for specific pesticide residues by the PMRA laboratory services. To date, residue analysis has been completed for 104 bee samples, as well as some samples of pollen and vegetation. Analysis is currently underway for an additional set of bee samples. Preliminary residue results show that insecticides used to treat corn seed were detected in approximately 70% of the dead bee samples analyzed.
Based on the preliminary information evaluated to date, there is an indication that pesticides used on treated corn seeds may have contributed to at least some of the 2012 spring bee losses that occurred in Ontario, however, there is still additional information being collected for consideration and final conclusions have not been made. We are looking closely at the specific circumstances that may have contributed to the unusual number of bee mortalities this spring.
The PMRA (assisted by MOE) is continuing to gather information for the purpose of determining the role pesticides may have played in the bee losses, how exposure occurred, and to determine what steps can be taken to prevent future bee losses. Information is being collected from affected bee yard owners/operators to help in the evaluation. Furthermore, the PMRA and MOE staff are contacting owners/operators of agricultural land in the vicinity of certain affected bee yards to collect details on agricultural activities including: crops grown, seeding dates, seed treatments, planting equipment, planting practices used, pesticide applications, weather conditions at the time of planting and other factors that may have played a role in the bee losses.
Once all current samples have been analyzed and available details gathered from the affected bee yards and adjacent agricultural land owners, a final analysis of the results will be conducted. A report will be made available, which will include information on the findings of the evaluation as well as the PMRA’s final conclusions.
In the interim, the PMRA will take additional steps to further protect pollinators from potential pesticide exposure, and is working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and other Canadian and international regulatory partners towards this goal. Work is ongoing to ensure that additional safety measures and best management practices to reduce pollinator exposure to treated seed dust are developed and communicated to beekeepers, agricultural producers and other stakeholders prior to the next planting season.


Canadian Honey Council Bee Incident Committee Recommendations
Monday, April 15, 2013

#1. Reporting an Incident
1)    The CHC recommends that the national toll-free telephone line for the reporting of pesticide incidents established by PMRA be more actively be promoted and publicized.    Once the initial call has been placed, the appropriate provincial authorities should be immediately informed.   If provincial authorities are contacted first, they should immediately notify PMRA of the incident.
2)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA and/or provincial authorities contact (or connect) the registrant to beekeepers, when that course of action has been approved by the beekeeper.
3)    The CHC recommends that Health Canada budget sufficient resources to PMRA in the long term to deal with bee incident reporting.
4)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA alert the CHC when an incident is reported.
5)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA revise their internal initial reporting policy to ensure that only after preliminary investigations are conducted, incident notification is posted on the web-site.  In this way only those incidents where there is a likelihood of pesticide involvement are published.
6)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA, representatives of the agricultural sector, and registrants draft appropriate guidelines to address gaps in the printed guidelines regarding bee incidents.
7)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA abandon attempts to conduct the AG Field Questionnaire based on its current format for 2013 or until such time as there have been more detailed discussions with landowners and beekeepers.
8)    In conjunction with the CHC, the PMRA incorporate comments made by the CAPA Chemical committee into the Bee Yard Questionnaire.
9)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA bee incident reporting form have a question asking the last time the bee yard was visited.
10)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA allow for a check box on the bee incident reporting form indicating that no investigation is to occur.  (For reasons of the grower/beekeepers relationship)
11)    The CHC recommends that the PMRA allow for a check off box on the bee incident reporting form permitting PMRA to share the specifics of the incident with the appropriate registrant.  
12)     The CHC, Provincial Associations and Provincial Apiarists provide information to beekeepers on what to look for in the event of a pesticide incident.

#2. Investigating an incident

1)    CHC recommends that PMRA, in cooperation with Provincial authorities, registrants, and the CHC develop a standard sample collection/investigation procedure so the necessary steps are taken for proper analysis. CHC should be consulted on this for the final draft.
2)    The CHC recommends that PRMA use provincial bee inspectors where available to carry out sample collection and investigation process in a knowledgeable and timely manner.  Further that the appropriate sample, collection, and investigation procedures be shared with beekeepers so that they can collect their own samples.
3)    The CHC recommends that Provincial authorities and Provincial Associations investigate the feasibility of developing an auditable course designed to teach beekeepers sample, collection and investigation procedures.
4)    The CHC recommends that PMRA should allow for resources to carry out the investigating process beyond 2013.
5)    The CHC should provide a list of qualified labs which a beekeeper could send samples to on their own.
6)    The CHC recommends that PMRA needs to set a timeline from when the samples are picked up and when the results will be available to the beekeeper.
7)    The CHC recommends that, if requested by beekeepers, registrants be allowed to carry out investigations.
8)    Considerable work has been done on the introduction of a Best Management Practices for investigating a potential pollinator incident.  Work needs to continue involving PMRA, CHC, Provincial Apiarists, crop production associations, registrants and other interested parties in order to formalize a national standard.

Analyzing toxicity levels of certain chemicals/ insecticides

1.    It is recommended that the CHC ask CropLife Canada (CLC) to collect and summarize public data on value and contribution of Plant Protection products.
2.    It is recommended that the CHC designate individuals from its leadership to improve their understanding of Canadian pesticide regulation participate by participating in a PMRA course on the subject.
3.    It is recommended that the CHC request CLC to present a summary of the requirements of the PMRA vis a vis non-target organisms especially pollinators.
4.    It is recommended that the CHC request CLC to provide an understanding of the quality and independence of “company-supplied information” in a pesticide submission through an explanation of GLP experimentation.
5.    It is recommended that the CHC ask CLC to produce a presentation and/or webinar on basic Toxicology vis a vis pollinators and Crop Protection products.
6.    It is recommended that the CHC gather questions about crop protection products which need to be addressed to beekeepers about pollinators.
7.    It is recommended that the CHC gather information about the QC stakeholders committee and decide on a national structure to present to CHC board.
8.    It is recommended that the CHC ask PMRA for information/presentation on how pollinators are protected to extend to beekeeping associations.
9.    It is recommended that the CHC establish a rapport with PMRA for updates on regulatory requirements for Crop Protection products regarding pollinators.
10.    It is recommended that the CHC ask CLC  to provide to leadership/designates information on the development and regulatory aspects of Hive Health products.

#4 Point of contact?  Seed treatments/dust or Surface/Aerial spray applications

1.    It is recommended that the CHC should request CLC to expand the planned webinar on pesticide toxicity to pollinators to include routes of exposure.
2.    It is recommended that the CHC ask the CLC to provide a series of articles/information to Hive Lights on the subject of exposure of pesticides to pollinators.
3.    It is recommended that the CHC request the CLC to produce a document/presentation summarizing routes of pesticide exposure to pollinators.
4.    It is recommended that the CHC request the CLC to provide BMPs for growers and their Outreach Strategy.
5.    It is recommended that the CHC ask the CLC to collect and summarize existing literature on Exposure and Mitigation from EU/US sources.
6.    It is recommended by the CHC that standard (bee incident) investigation procedures be utilized in Canada for bee incidents.
7.    It is recommended by the CHC that a letter be drafted to the equipment manufacturers asking them to commit to participating in schemes to reduce fugitive dust by explaining and implementing short and long term strategies.
8.    It is recommended that the CHC check the feasibility of the Seed Treatment (ST) industry hosting beekeepers at a ST facility to review processes and quality control .  In the absence of a tour, that the CLC provide information/presentation about how corn seed is treated.
9.    It is recommended that the CHC request the CLC to provide an update regarding the development and regulatory status of talc and graphite replacements to the CHC.

#5 Recommendations/Best Management Practices for beekeepers, seed companies/chemical companies, crop growers, applicators, ag equipment manufacturers

1.    It is recommended that the CHC develop an agenda plan and venue for a discussion with stakeholders regarding the contribution of pollination to agriculture.
2.    It is recommended that the CHC study existing pollinator partnership groups in the US to see if such models would be good to develop in Canada.
3.    It is recommended that the CHC should ask CLC to collect existing examples of stewardship at seed treatment facilities.
4.    It is recommended that the CHC should  sponsor and organize discussions on BMPs for beekeepers to reduce the risk of exposure to pesticides.
5.    It is recommended that the CHC should consider participating in Grow Canada, and communicate that information to CLC/Grow Canada.
6.    It is recommended that the CHC discuss the need for the development of BMPs for beekeepers on the subject of hive-health products.
7.    It is recommended that the CHC investigate opportunities associated with government programming focussed on improved access to forage in those parts of Canada where it has been requested.
8.    It is recommended that the CHC evaluate opportunities for region-specific recommendations for melliferous plants which could be planted as crops and/or non-ag use areas similar to programs in the US and EU.
9.    It is recommended that the CHC encourage provincial beekeeping associations to get involved in the provincial pesticide recommendation activities to bring (or increase) awareness of pollinator safety.
10.    It is recommended that the CHC evaluate the value of implementing a program similar to “Driftwatch” in the US.
11.     It is recommended that the CHC encourage all crop producers to incorporate an Integrated Pest Management plan on their operations