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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

Ontario Beekeepers Association AGM
Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20 -21, 2014   Markham, Ontario at the Delta Markham

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.


Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

JUNE 10, 2014 -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 2014 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 11, 2014. The recipient of the 2014 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, "Farmers and ranchers are best positioned to maintain pollinator populations. We are pleased to be a part of this award as it recognizes the value agriculture producers make to providing healthy landscapes."


For more information, contact:


Pollinator Partnership

Victoria Wojcik
Research Director  415-362-1137




Drew Black
Director of Environment & Science Policy


Chad Anderson
Environment Committee Co-Chair

 P2: The Pollinator Partnership (P2) is a not-for-profit corporation in the US and Canada that, since its inception in 1997, has established itself as an innovator in pollinator protection across North America.  P2 works to promote widespread collaborative stewardship practices on open and working lands, within institutions, and among individuals.  One of P2's strategies is to improve the health and survival of all species by promoting the importance and wonder of pollinators, and by protecting their habitats.


CFA: Founded in 1935 to provide Canada's farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country's largest general farm organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations, national and inter-provincial commodity organizations. Through its members, CFA represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families. www.cfa-fca.ca


CFGA: The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association is the national voice for producers whose livelihoods are dependent upon forage/grassland production. It is committed to promoting sustainable management and addressing production issues and trade barriers.

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)

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.


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.


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


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
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 Sept. 30th 2013.


CFIA changes to accepted construction materials
Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Honey producers please note that the CFIA Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products in the future will not be maintained under Inspection Modernization. Registered/licenced food (honey) establishments will be required to obtain their own letters from manufacturers stating that their products are food grade and/or appropriate to use in a food establishment.


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


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.


PMRA website revision
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Revisions to PMRA website are now available
Please note the BMP 2-pg Fact Sheet as well as the updated Pollinator Protection: Reducing Risk From Treated Seed are now live on the website.



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.


Pesticides used on treated corn
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From: Conference for Can. Assn. of Professional Apiculturists

Pesticides used on treated corn seeds “may” have contributed to “at least some of the 2012 spring bee losses that occurred in Ontario,” Health Canada has told Better Farming via email. The email, from Health Canada media relations officer Sara O’Dacre, says other factors are being considered and that “final conclusions” have not been made. “Given the large number of potential factors involved, Health Canada, along with its provincial colleagues, is continuing to examine other factors, including overall bee health, agriculture practices and environmental conditions,” the email says. In early summer, the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) began a re-evaluation of a group of insecticides used to protect seeds and crops from insects because more than 100 incidents of acute poisoning symptoms were reported to the PMRA and the provincial environment and agriculture ministries. Most occurred in southwestern Ontario. The products being re-evaluated are clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. They are all neonicotinoid insecticides, a class of insecticides that act on the central nervous system of insects and can kill bees. The re-evaluation covers these active ingredients and their associated products registered in Canada. Imidacloprid was already being re-evaluated when the agency announced the review of the other two, PMRA says.