Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry, 2017

Alternative Format

Overview

Beekeeping is an important agricultural industry in Canada, producing bees for sale, honey and other hive products, and delivering valuable pollination services to other farmers and for the natural environment.

The total number of honey bee colonies in Canada has steadily increased over the past decade, reaching a record high 789,598 in 2017. The number of beekeepers has also been increasing. In 2017, 10,544 beekeepers across Canada kept one or more honey bee colonies, a 19% increase over the average of the previous five years.

The majority of honey bee colonies are in the Prairies, where long summer days and a favourable crop mix are ideal for foraging; Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collectively accounted for 68% of the country's total bee colonies and for 86% of the total honey production. Alberta contributed the most to Canada's overall honey production with 43%, followed by Saskatchewan (24%) and Manitoba (19%).

Ontario currently has the largest number of beekeepers, with 3,331 beekeepers or 32% of national total. British Columbia and Alberta have the second and third largest number of beekeepers, with 2,640 and 1,360 beekeepers respectively.

Beekeepers produced 92.1 million pounds of honey in 2017, down 3% from 2016. In the previous season, the value of honey produced in Canada fell from $210 million in 2015 to $169 million in 2016, a decrease of 20%, due to a decline of 22% in prices. For 2017, prices for honey produced in Canada rebounded, increasing 14% from the previous year, resulting in an 11% increase in the total value of honey ($188 million) despite a 3% reduction in total production.

Exports of Canadian honey totaled over $78 million, up 9% from 2016. The United States is the largest export destination for Canadian honey and accounted for 79% of all honey exports in 2016. The second and third largest honey export destinations are Japan (16%) and China (3%), respectively.

Canada imported $41 million worth of honey in 2017, the highest total value of imports in the previous five years. In recent years, Argentina was the largest source country for imports of honey (by value) to Canada; however, its total value of honey exports to Canada declined significantly, from $8.7 million in 2013 to just $245,000 in 2017, dropping to 15th place among exporting countries. New Zealand became the largest exporter of honey by value to Canada in 2017, with an import value of $9.5 million. Brazil and Mexico were the second and third largest sources of Canadian imports, valued at $7.4 million and $3.62 million, respectively. Most imports from New Zealand are valuable Manuka honey, while Brazil produces large volumes of certified organic honey.

1. Production

1.1 Number of beekeepers[1] by province

Number of beekeepers by province
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 47 45 45 40 46
Nova Scotia 287 320 395 451 604
New Brunswick 244 277 291 351 374
Quebec 296 309 333 384 400
Ontario 3,155 3,262 2,562 2,896 3,331
Manitoba 532 546 607 662 745
Saskatchewan 715 719 955 1,150 1,044
Alberta 890 1,015 1,064 1,453 1,360
British Columbia 2,323 2,405 2,363 2,640 2,640
Canada[2] 8,489 8,898 8,615 10,027 10,544
Notes:

[1] Beekeeper numbers may include providers of pollination services.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

1.2. Number of beekeepers by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the image above.

Number of beekeepers by province - percent share:

  • Ontario: 32%
  • British Columbia: 25%
  • Alberta: 13%
  • Saskatchewan: 10%
  • Manitoba: 7%
  • Others: 13%

1.3. Number of colonies[1] by province

Number of colonies by province
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 4,432 3,777 4,005 4,920 6,300
Nova Scotia 19,500 23,000 25,504 31,080 28,876
New Brunswick 4,318 5,441 6,710 7,000 7,100
Quebec 47,203 49,635 54,294 64,426 63,500
Ontario 97,500 112,800 101,135 97,342 105,244
Manitoba 73,800 78,700 90,909 102,030 111,802
Saskatchewan 100,000 95,000 101,000 112,000 115,000
Alberta 278,100 282,900 296,880 309,000 311,000
British Columbia 42,544 44,999 45,571 39,885 40,776
Canada[2] 667,397 696,252 726,008 767,683 789,598

Notes:
[1] Colony numbers may include providers of pollination services.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

1.4. Number of colonies by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the image above.

Number of colonies by province - percent share:

  • Alberta: 39%
  • Saskatchewan: 15%
  • Manitoba: 14%
  • Ontario: 13%
  • Quebec: 8%
  • Others: 11%

1.5. Number of beekeepers and number of colonies by province

Description of this image follows.

Source: Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the image above.
Province Number of beekeepers Number of colonies
Prince Edward Island 46 6,300
Nova Scotia 604 28,876
New Brunswick 374 7,100
Quebec 400 63,500
Ontario 3,331 105,244
Manitoba 745 111,802
Saskatchewan 1,044 115,000
Alberta 1,360 311,000
British Columbia 2,640 40,776

1.6. Total honey production[1] by province – thousands of pounds

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 176 155 168 162 231
Nova Scotia 495 430 411 588 552
New Brunswick 207 236 276 287 201
Quebec 3,286 4,290 4,194 4,507 3,967
Ontario 6,363 10,577 8,972 8,880 4,468
Manitoba 12,472 14,087 16,000 15,202 17,360
Saskatchewan 18,200 16,530 18,837 22,848 21,965
Alberta 33,200 35,500 39,461 40,170 39,808
British Columbia 2,069 3,840 3,692 1,934 3,556
Canada[2] 76,468 85,644 92,011 94,578 92,108

Notes:
[1] Production excludes inventory.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

1.7. Total honey production by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the above image.

Total honey production by province - percent share:

  • Alberta: 43%
  • Saskatchewan: 24%
  • Manitoba: 19%
  • Ontario: 5%
  • British Columbia: 4%
  • Others: 5%

1.8. Production value[1] of honey by province – thousands of Canadian dollars

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 453 415 579 445 666
Nova Scotia 1,559 1,257 1,343 1,686 1,733
New Brunswick 517 630 740 661 511
Quebec 12,279 13,386 13,905 15,074 14,000
Ontario 20,362 36,147 31,119 31,966 18,764
Manitoba 25,318 30,288 32,400 21,000 32,620
Saskatchewan 37,310 34,713 26,372 27,418 34,045
Alberta 72,905 79,788 84,555 62,388 68,454
British Columbia 10,580 12,617 19,471 8,622 17,246
Canada[2] 181,283 209,241 210,483 169,260 188,039
Notes:
[1] Value excludes inventory sales except for in Quebec.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

1.9. Production value of honey by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey

Description of the above image.

Value of honey by province - percent share:

  • Alberta: 37%
  • Saskatchewan: 18%
  • Ontario: 17%
  • Manitoba: 10%
  • British Columbia: 9%
  • Others: 9%

2. Trade

2.1. Trade balance

2.1.1. Canada's honey trade balance – thousands of Canadian dollars

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Export 60,856 50,859 66,603 72,315 78,650
Import 26,015 32,215 41,214 38,062 41,331
Trade Balance (Exports − Imports) 34,840 18,644 25,389 34,253 37,319
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.2. Exports

2.2.1. Canada's honey exports by province[1] – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 19 0 34 78 0
Nova Scotia 2 3 2 61 126
Quebec 11,650 4,458 6,480 6,158 5,615
Ontario 3,944 4,656 4,329 2,689 5,359
Manitoba 15,571 11,274 17,745 17,060 19,310
Saskatchewan 16,056 13,764 15,640 11,346 19,928
Alberta 12,832 14,929 20,617 33,433 27,150
British Columbia 783 1,774 1,756 1,490 1,160
Canada[2] 60,856 50,859 66,603 72,315 78,650
Notes:
[1] Exports may include honey not produced in that province.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.2.2. Canada's honey exports by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, May 2018)

Description of the above image.

Canada's honey exports by province - percent share:

  • Alberta: 34%
  • Manitoba: 25%
  • Saskatchewan: 25%
  • Quebec: 7%
  • Ontario: 7%
  • Others: 2%

2.2.3. Canada's honey exports by province - quantity (metric tonnes)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Prince Edward Island 2 0 6 14 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 7 22
Quebec 2,392 800 1,116 1,021 1,041
Ontario 540 664 616 453 1,058
Manitoba 3,334 2,187 3,316 4,580 5,242
Saskatchewan 3,335 2,645 2,999 3,551 5,564
Alberta 2,507 2,840 3,660 8,113 6,372
British Columbia 155 319 266 215 186
Total 12,266 9,456 11,979 17,954 19,485
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.2.4. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States 46,959 32,034 45,998 51,371 62,373
Japan 11,873 16,308 16,295 17,045 12,432
China 1,174 1,665 2,522 2,396 1,981
South Korea 5 0 751 559 550
Hong Kong 141 504 287 271 460
India 50 0 0 95 366
Brazil 0 0 0 0 169
United Arab Emirates 0 0 10 35 77
Barbados 24 39 55 56 63
Switzerland 0 1 0 74 36
Others 630 308 685 414 143
Total 60,856 50,859 66,603 72,315 78,650
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.2.5. Canada's top honey export destinations by country – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, May 2018)

Description of the image above.

Canada's top honey export destinations by country - percent share:

  • United States: 79%
  • Japan: 16%
  • China: 3%
  • Others: 2%

2.2.6. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations – quantity (metric tonnes)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States 9,535 5,928 8,445 13,629 16,016
Japan 2,363 3,143 2,831 3,719 2,799
China 196 250 402 323 323
South Korea 1 0 116 105 109
India 9 0 0 29 75
Hong Kong 22 85 43 40 72
Brazil 0 0 0 0 35
United Arab Emirates 0 0 2 6 14
Barbados 4 6 9 10 11
Switzerland 0 0 0 21 7
Others 136 45 131 72 25
Total 12,266 9,456 11,979 17,954 19,485
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.3. Imports

2.3.1. Canada's honey imports by province – value (Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Nova Scotia 3,087 2,819 408 2,062 8,467
New Brunswick 0 0 113 216 7,236
Quebec 6,722,969 11,426,777 14,004,883 13,932,715 12,355,678
Ontario 16,897,806 16,835,830 21,683,754 17,958,821 24,630,510
Manitoba 292,122 603,335 453,018 305,147 118,593
Saskatchewan 13,083 48 53,687 13,854 4,800
Alberta 9,986 123,767 813,019 1,165,645 27,557
British Columbia 2,076,442 3,222,272 4,205,137 4,685,144 4,178,387
Total 26,015,495 32,214,848 41,214,019 38,063,604 41,331,228
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.3.2. Canada's honey imports by province – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, May 2018)

Description of the image above.

Canada's honey imports by province - percent share:

  • Ontario: 59%
  • Quebec: 30%
  • British Columbia: 10%
  • Others: 1%

2.3.3. Canada's honey imports by province – volume (kilograms)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Nova Scotia 649 614 60 317 790
New Brunswick 0 0 9 51 291
Quebec 1,760,803 2,848,540 3,219,694 3,417,813 2,902,238
Ontario 3,400,794 3,105,020 3,552,517 2,476,506 3,589,453
Manitoba 69,323 57,412 53,698 39,740 19,182
Saskatchewan 3,074 4 5,583 936 313
Alberta 927 10,558 99,573 223,966 3,407
British Columbia 258,886 316,357 384,940 400,887 418,378
Canada 5,494,456 6,338,505 7,316,074 6,560,216 6,934,052
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.3.4. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports – value (Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
New Zealand 3,749,492 4,651,685 7,483,814 7,120,281 9,560,170
Brazil 3,810,667 6,059,420 7,307,083 10,515,234 7,384,459
Mexico 3,244 138,188 29,995 67,397 3,561,790
Spain 42,410 331,913 3,270,807 3,024,203 3,120,697
Australia 2,788,815 2,609,958 4,249,661 3,629,420 3,102,488
United States 3,065,478 3,759,112 6,161,862 4,207,803 2,714,170
India 582,183 1,071,590 1,036,187 1,550,297 2,017,945
Thailand 15 520,833 2,585,800 808,688 1,855,794
Greece 1,387,871 877,670 1,399,416 1,171,384 1,226,620
Ukraine 15 1,441,591 607,767 858,053 1,075,002
Others 10,585,305 10,752,888 7,081,627 5,110,844 5,712,093
Total 26,015,495 32,214,848 41,214,019 38,063,604 41,331,228
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.3.5. Canada's top sources of honey imports by country – percent share, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, May 2018)

Description of the image above.

Canada's top sources of honey imports by country - percent share:

  • New Zealand: 23%
  • Brazil: 18%
  • Spain: 8%
  • United States: 7%
  • Australia: 7%
  • Others: 37%

2.3.6. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports – volume (kilograms)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Brazil 1,039,335 1,429,623 1,528,830 2,134,017 1,279,957
Spain 6,707 75,514 766,116 646,681 734,823
Mexico 1,192 25,905 4,945 10,999 699,713
India 126,707 285,975 222,511 429,116 505,506
Myanmar 0 58,200 201,002 402,010 485,405
Thailand 6 166,640 764,835 230,849 483,515
United States 706,722 614,813 938,727 652,407 478,754
Viet Nam 19,209 153,531 17,843 164,054 381,536
Ukraine 5 445,421 155,262 325,126 352,820
New Zealand 197,320 245,302 292,186 298,498 346,451
Others 3,397,253 2,837,581 2,423,817 1,266,459 1,185,572
Total 5,494,456 6,338,505 7,316,074 6,560,216 6,934,052
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

2.3.7. Canada's sources of honey bee imports – value (Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
New Zealand 3,397,507 3,794,388 3,601,795 2,752,912 1,510,369
Australia 1,494,051 1,578,619 1,275,366 559,584 331,206
Chile 0 663 0 0 316,067
United States 0 14,008 223,942 249,614 0
Denmark 0 0 0 9,428 0
Total 4,891,558 5,387,678 5,101,103 3,571,538 2,157,642
Notes:
Package bees are sold in a variety of sizes typically one pound, two pound and three pound packages. No detail on the individual numbers of different package sizes is available.
Does not include queen bees.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, June 2017)

2.3.8. Canada's sources of queen bee imports – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States 4,264,789 5,364,363 6,416,761 6,316,094 7,138,232
Australia 258,578 109,357 56,248 145,681 265,108
Chile 168,287 149,095 128,051 91,396 217,937
New Zealand 90,793 103,906 108,924 81,787 63,232
Denmark 0 13,748 0 0 2,767
Total 4,782,447 5,740,469 6,709,984 6,634,958 7,687,276
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2018)

3. Consumption

3.1. Honey available for consumption[1] in Canada – kilograms per person

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Honey 0.84 1.06 1.09 0.93 0.85
Note:
1. Does not adjust for losses, such as waste and/or spoilage in stores, households, private institutions or restaurants or losses during preparation.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0054-01 Food available in Canada

4. World data

4.1. Top 10 exporters of honey worldwide – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
China 254,821 288,046 370,299 367,884 350,287
New Zealand 144,133 185,525 253,729 271,606 348,666
Argentina 217,318 224,349 208,015 223,089 238,189
Germany 134,764 155,648 168,799 181,575 180,390
Ukraine 54,739 103,466 108,802 129,046 172,619
Brazil 55,830 108,566 104,106 121,600 158,802
Spain 94,788 132,191 129,985 144,399 142,967
Mexico 115,906 161,318 196,692 123,115 136,753
India 78,038 85,400 155,276 93,744 135,573
Hungary 88,402 96,977 96,714 91,497 116,502
Others 871,127 1,013,138 1,151,569 1,164,803 987,799
Total 2,109,867 2,554,624 2,943,986 2,912,358 2,968,549
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2018)

4.2. Top 10 honey-exporting countries, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2018)

Description of the image above.
Country Canadian dollars
China 350,287
New Zealand 348,666
Argentina 238,189
Germany 180,390
Ukraine 172,619
Brazil 158,802
Spain 142,967
Mexico 136,753
India 135,573
Hungary 116,502

4.3. Top 10 importers of honey worldwide – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
United States 513,947 641,588 770,164 559,564 739,743
Germany 335,528 353,906 425,046 370,790 402,288
Japan 119,602 132,676 150,898 209,152 185,433
United Kingdom 130,550 146,563 168,236 158,725 169,545
France 118,225 171,487 165,263 168,810 169,307
China 44,284 64,754 96,064 96,505 118,605
Italy 77,875 100,075 108,883 96,028 105,536
Belgium 65,375 86,088 115,356 98,383 103,453
Spain 54,944 67,204 93,012 86,542 99,535
Saudi Arabia 69,163 95,367 72,314 55,392 85,689
Others 537,644 672,550 806,552 791,652 826,579
Total 2,067,137 2,532,258 2,971,789 2,691,542 3,005,715
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2018)

4.4. Top 10 honey-importing countries, 2017

Description of this image follows.

Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2018)

Description of the image above.
Country Canadian dollars
United States 739,743
Germany 402,288
Japan 185,433
United Kingdom 169,545
France 169,307
China 118,605
Italy 105,536
Belgium 103,453
Spain 99,535
Saudi Arabia 85,689

6. Key Resources

  • Global Trade Tracker
  • Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0353-01 Production and value of honey
  • Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0054-01 Food available in Canada
  • Statistics Canada. CATSNET

Import and export data is based on the following Harmonized System Codes (H.S. Codes):

  • Honey for import: 0409000010 0409000021 0409000022 0409000023 0409000024 0409000025 0409000026 0409000029 0409000090
  • Honey for export: 04090000
  • Honey Bees for import: 0106410010 0106410011 0106410012 0106900011 0106900012
  • Queen Bees for imports: 0106410020

Alternative formats

Help with alternative formats

Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry, 2017 (PDF version, 970 KB)

Date modified: