Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry and the Economic Contribution of Honey Bee Pollination, 2013-2014

Alternative Formats

Overview

In 2014, the number of beekeepers in Canada grew to 8,777 (up 3% from 2013). The increase in beekeepers correlated with a rise in the number of colonies from 667,397 to 694,217, an increase of 4% from 2013. Although the number of colonies in Canada rose by 4% from 2013 to 2014, it is only a 0.6% increase compared to the previous high from 2012 (690,037). Ontario and British Columbia had the highest number of beekeepers in Canada with 3,262 and 2,405, respectively; however, Alberta is the province with the highest number of colonies. Alberta alone had 282,000 bee colonies in 2014, which represents 41% of Canada's total. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined made up 66% of Canada's total. These Prairie provinces accounted for 80% of total honey production in 2014, producing over 65 million pounds. Canada's total honey production increased from approximately 76 million to 82 million pounds in 2014, an increase of 7% from 2013. However, totals from 2014 are still lower than the five-year high of 91 million pounds achieved in 2012. Despite the up-and-down trend seen in Canadian honey production over the past five years, the value of honey produced has actually increased each year since 2010, reaching approximately $202 million in 2014, which represents an increase of 11% over 2013 and 40% over 2010.

Nova Scotia saw a 15% increase in the number of beekeepers, the largest percentage increase of all the provinces. Prince Edward Island experienced the largest percentage decrease in the number of beekeepers (4%), followed by New Brunswick, whose decrease was 2%. Prince Edward Island also saw the largest decrease in the number of colonies in 2014, followed by Saskatchewan, falling by 15% and 5%, respectively. Although the number of beekeepers in New Brunswick decreased from 2013 to 2014, the number of colonies in the province actually rose by 26%, the largest increase in Canada.

British Columbia recorded the largest percentage increase of honey production for 2014, yielding 3.8 million pounds, which amounts to an increase of 85% from 2013. The rise in production seen in British Columbia was somewhat offset by a drop in production in other provinces. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan saw decreases in production of 26%, 13% and 9%, respectively. While Saskatchewan's percentage decrease was the smallest of the three provinces, its impact was the largest because of its high average yearly volume of production. Alberta continues to be the largest producer of honey in Canada, yielding approximately 34 million pounds in 2014, with a value of nearly $79 million. Ontario saw the greatest increase in the value of honey produced, growing from approximately $20 million to over $30 million in 2014, an increase of 49%.

In 2014, Canada's honey industry recorded a positive trade balance of $18.6 million, which is 46% less than the previous year's balance. This marks the second consecutive year since 2012 that Canadian exports have decreased. The downward trend is driven primarily by the decrease in exports to the United States that has been seen over the two-year period. The United States has, however, remained the largest export destination, importing over $32 million of Canadian honey in 2014, which accounted for 63% of Canadian honey exports.

Canada increased total honey imports in 2014 to 6,338 tonnes, valued at approximately $32 million. Brazil was able to surpass Argentina to become the largest exporter of honey to Canada in 2014, with an import value of $6 million. Argentina and New Zealand were the second and third largest sources of Canadian imports, valued at $5.6 million and $4.7 million, respectively.

Managed pollination services, including those delivered by beekeepers, are a critical input for many agricultural activities, including the production of orchard fruits, many berries and vegetables and the creation of hybrid canola seed. Using established methodology, it is possible to estimate the economic contribution in additional harvest value that can be linked to honey bees as managed pollinators. Based on 2013 harvest data, the most recent estimate of the economic contribution of Canadian honey bee pollination shows that between 3 and 5 billion dollars in additional crop value is made possible through the pollination services provided by beekeepers and their honey bees.

Section A: Statistical overview of Canadian honey and bee industry

1. Production

1.1. Number of beekeepers by province

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Notes:

  • Beekeeper numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 33 43 46 47 45
Nova Scotia 215 209 230 287 330
New Brunswick 204 209 244 244 240
Quebec 262 268 305 296 300
Ontario 2,600 2,900 3,200 3,155 3,262
Manitoba 490 501 517 532 546
Saskatchewan 965 850 748 715 719
Alberta 769 798 883 890 930
British Columbia 1,865 1,935 2,139 2,323 2,405
Canada 7,403 7,713 8,312 8,489 8,777

1.2. Number of beekeepers by province – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of above image

Number of beekeepers by province - percent share

  • Ontario: 37%
  • British Columbia: 27%
  • Alberta: 11%
  • Saskatchewan: 8%
  • Manitoba: 6%
  • Others: 11%

1.3. Number of colonies by province

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Notes:

  • Colony numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 2,605 2,954 3,719 4,432 3,777
Nova Scotia 18,500 19,300 19,000 19,500 23,000
New Brunswick 4,288 4,500 5,650 4,318 5,441
Quebec 39,812 41,407 49,708 47,203 48,500
Ontario 83,150 90,000 101,000 97,500 112,800
Manitoba 78,000 77,000 80,000 73,800 78,700
Saskatchewan 86,000 90,000 110,000 100,000 95,000
Alberta 266,000 274,600 278,400 278,100 282,000
British Columbia 41,936 38,159 42,560 42,544 44,999
Canada 620,291 637,920 690,037 667,397 694,217

1.4. Number of colonies by province – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of above image

Number of colonies by province - percent share

  • Alberta: 41%
  • Ontario: 16%
  • Saskatchewan: 14%
  • Manitoba: 11%
  • Quebec: 7%
  • Others: 11%

1.5. Number of beekeepers and number of colonies by province

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of above image

Number of beekeepers by province

  • Prince Edward Island: 45
  • Nova Scotia: 330
  • New Brunswick: 240
  • Quebec: 300
  • Ontario: 3,262
  • Manitoba: 546
  • Saskatchewan: 719
  • Alberta: 930
  • British Columbia: 2,405

Number of colonies by province

  • Prince Edward Island: 3,777
  • Nova Scotia: 23,000
  • New Brunswick: 5,441
  • Quebec: 48,500
  • Ontario: 112,800
  • Manitoba: 78,700
  • Saskatchewan: 95,000
  • Alberta: 282,000
  • British Columbia: 44,999

1.6. Total honey production by province – thousands of pounds

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Notes:

  • Production excludes inventory.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 201 271 184 176 154
Nova Scotia 528 248 400 495 366
New Brunswick 257 208 199 207 236
Quebec 4,030 2,867 4,395 3,286 3,747
Ontario 8,814 9,023 9,439 6,363 8,192
Manitoba 12,870 15,400 13,200 12,472 14,087
Saskatchewan 18,404 15,930 23,125 18,200 16,530
Alberta 34,580 34,050 38,000 33,200 34,404
British Columbia 1,988 1,826 1,817 2,069 3,840
Canada 81,672 79,824 90,759 76,468 81,556

1.7. Total honey production by province – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of above image

Total honey production by province - percent share

  • Alberta: 42%
  • Saskatchewan: 20%
  • Manitoba: 17%
  • Ontario: 10%
  • British Columbia: 5%
  • Others: 6%

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

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Notes:

  • Value excludes inventory sales except for in Quebec.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 603 813 551 453 415
Nova Scotia 1,584 745 1,260 1,559 1,545
New Brunswick 963 781 503 517 630
Quebec 9,516 10,234 12,291 12,279 12,500
Ontario 20,379 22,537 23,815 20,362 30,310
Manitoba 19,562 24,948 23,100 25,318 30,288
Saskatchewan 28,526 24,692 38,156 37,310 34,713
Alberta 56,230 59,168 68,340 72,905 78,602
British Columbia 6,834 6,774 8,190 10,580 12,617
Canada 144,197 150,691 176,206 181,283 201,620

1.9. Production value of honey by province – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of above image

Value of honey by province - percent share

  • Alberta: 39%
  • Saskatchewan: 17%
  • Ontario: 15%
  • Manitoba: 15%
  • British Columbia: 6%
  • Others: 8%

2. Trade

2.1. Trade balance

2.1.1. Canada's honey trade balance – thousands of Canadian dollars
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Exports 57,834 39,012 73,794 60,856 50,856
Imports 14,493 13,324 14,923 26,029 32,215
Trade Balance     (Exports - Imports) 43,342 25,688 58,871 34,826 18,641

2.2. Exports

2.2.1. Canada's honey exports by province – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Note:

  • Exports may include honey not produced in that province.

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Prince Edward Island 25 284 58 19 0
Nova Scotia 358 71 2 2 3
New Brunswick 66 0 0 0 0
Quebec 8,028 7,149 19,265 11,650 4,458
Ontario 2,322 2,400 2,696 3,944 4,653
Manitoba 18,782 14,435 23,097 15,571 11,274
Saskatchewan 11,322 4,449 17,294 16,056 13,764
Alberta 15,740 9,389 10,995 12,832 14,929
British Columbia 1,191 835 386 783 1,774
Canada 57,834 39,012 73,794 60,856 50,856
2.2.2. Canada's honey exports by province - percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Description of above image

Canada's honey exports by province - percent share

  • Alberta: 29%
  • Saskatchewan: 27%
  • Manitoba: 22%
  • Ontario: 9%
  • Quebec: 9%
  • Others: 4%
2.2.3. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations – volume (kilograms)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

United States 11,178,117 7,233,626 15,922,716 9,535,289 5,927,483
Japan 2,440,219 1,690,307 1,896,912 2,363,414 3,142,736
China 215,649 191,261 203,363 196,223 249,684
Hong Kong 23,274 45,694 47,360 22,320 85,442
Bahamas 3,324 0 0 0 16,003
Greece 0 4,418 20,761 25,939 13,343
Barbados 21,687 12,470 12,084 3,510 6,030
Singapore 3,322 2,901 3,029 965 4,927
Lebanon 6,408 0 2,531 1,665 2,055
Australia 57,508 38,594 20,650 0 1,818
Others 1,195,829 335,089 210,062 116,826 6,870
Total 15,145,337 9,554,360 18,339,468 12,266,151 9,456,391
2.2.4. Canada’s top honey export destinations by country – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Description of above image

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

  • United States: 64%
  • Japan: 33%
  • China: 3%
  • Others: 0%

2.3. Imports

2.3.1. Canada's honey imports by province – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Nova Scotia 1.4 0.7 0.8 3.1 2.8
New Brunswick 0.5 0.6 0.4 0.0 0.0
Quebec 2,646.8 3,878.4 4,750.2 6,736.9 11,426.8
Ontario 9,397.2 7,391.4 8,145.0 16,897.8 16,835.7
Manitoba 159.5 145.6 38.1 292.1 603.3
Saskatchewan 0.0 12.8 13.2 13.1 0.0
Alberta 11.8 18.9 79.6 10.0 123.8
British Columbia 2,275.6 1,876.0 1,895.2 2,076.4 3,222.3
Canada 14,492.8 13,324.4 14,922.5 26,029.5 32,214.7
2.3.2. Canada's honey imports by province - percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Description of above image

Canada's honey imports by province - percent share

  • Ontario: 52%
  • Quebec: 36%
  • British Columbia: 10%
  • Others: 2%
2.3.3. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Brazil 2,234 2,534 1,672 3,811 6,059
Argentina 2,586 1,138 3,834 8,696 5,574
New Zealand 1,825 2,157 2,799 3,763 4,652
United States 1,885 1,633 1,447 3,065 3,759
Australia 3,428 2,132 2,600 2,789 2,610
Ukraine 0 0 0 0 1,442
China 82 61 198 71 1,216
India 709 633 387 582 1,072
Greece 651 749 788 1,388 878
Turkey 6 4 3 29 815
Others 1,087 2,285 1,194 1,836 4,139
Total 14,493 13,324 14,923 26,029 32,215
2.3.4. Canada’s top sources of honey imports by country – percent share, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, February 2015)

Description of above image

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

  • Brazil: 19%
  • Argentina: 17%
  • New Zealand: 14%
  • United States: 12%
  • Australia: 8%
  • Others: 30%
2.3.5. Canada's sources of honey bee imports – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

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, March 2015)

New Zealand 834 2,746 2,110 3,398 3,794
Australia 56 333 414 1,494 1,579
Total 890 3,079 2,524 4,892 5,388
2.3.6. Canada's sources of queen bee imports – value (thousands of Canadian dollars)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSnet, March 2015)

United States 2,584 3,021 3,399 4,265 5,364
Chile 189 156 50 168 149
Australia 503 150 264 259 109
New Zealand 143 159 149 91 104
Denmark 12 4 4 0 14
Total 3,432 3,490 3,867 4,782 5,740

3. Consumption

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

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Notes:

  • 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. (CANSIM Table 002-0011)

Honey 0.80 0.91 0.82 0.85 1.02

4. World data

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

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Source: Global Trade Atlas (June 2015)

China 187,674 200,050 214,606 254,731 288,077
Argentina 178,429 220,338 215,145 217,234 224,372
New Zealand 73,109 86,612 103,762 144,161 185,541
Mexico 87,589 88,262 101,854 115,853 161,328
Germany 114,765 113,806 121,172 134,724 154,721
Spain 84,354 78,997 80,894 96,821 127,396
Brazil 56,634 69,786 52,390 55,811 108,581
Ukraine 20,490 27,613 31,013 54,742 103,481
Hungary 62,813 59,962 63,423 88,395 97,147
India 57,977 65,639 60,997 79,734 86,516
Others 489,900 494,963 563,186 683,581 729,341
Total 1,413,734 1,506,026 1,608,443 1,925,786 2,266,500

4.2. Top 10 honey-exporting countries, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Global Trade Atlas (June 2015)

Description of above image

Top 10 honey exporting countries - thousands of Canadian dollars

  • China: 288,077
  • Argentina: 224,372
  • New Zealand: 185,541
  • Mexico: 161,328
  • Germany: 154,721
  • Spain: 127,396
  • Brazil: 108,581
  • Ukraine: 103,481
  • Hungary: 97,147
  • India: 86,516

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

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Source: Global Trade Atlas (June 2015)

United States 301,557 381,018 416,364 495,401 618,087
Germany 303,219 269,935 281,381 335,464 348,629
France 99,895 109,704 94,252 117,867 169,786
United Kingdom 108,284 124,946 113,772 130,120 142,669
Japan 104,055 116,535 105,207 119,594 132,669
Italy 55,142 57,333 55,943 77,868 100,075
Belgium 52,469 56,078 55,760 65,367 85,329
Spain 39,098 45,463 48,339 55,388 66,078
China 9,938 12,759 26,217 44,269 64,761
Poland 32,004 38,153 34,940 49,790 59,613
Others 331,317 340,203 360,756 424,917 518,677
Total 1,436,978 1,552,127 1,592,930 1,916,046 2,306,373

4.4. Top 10 honey-importing countries, 2014

Description of this image follows.
Source: Global Trade Atlas (June 2015)

Description of above image

Top 10 honey importing countries - thousands of Canadian dollars

  • United States: 618,087
  • Germany: 348,629
  • France: 169,786
  • United Kingdom: 142,669
  • Japan: 132,669
  • Italy: 100,075
  • Belgium: 85,329
  • Spain: 66,078
  • China: 64,761
  • Poland: 59,613

Section B: Honey bee pollination

5. Economic value of honey bee pollination of Canadian agriculture

5.1. Background

Honey bee pollination is a critical input for many agricultural commodities.  An established methodology can be applied to estimate the value of the direct economic contribution to agriculture generated by honey bee pollination.

Honey bees placed near target crops by commercial and hobbyist beekeepers are the most common form of managed pollination, though alfalfa leafcutter bees, bumblebees and some other insect species are used in specific agricultural circumstances.  This analysis attempts to exclude the contribution of natural and controlled pollinators other than honey bees.  Pollination services for blueberry, cranberry, orchard fruit and canola seed production generate the bulk of the demand for honey bee pollination.

This analysis relies on Canadian farm gate value or farm cash receipts for key commodities for which data is available for the year 2013. The estimation uses established coefficients for each crop to determine the proportion of the crop harvest reliant on insect pollination and the proportion of insect pollination that is delivered by honey bees.

5.2. Value of bee pollination by crop

The contribution of honey bee pollination to agricultural production can be estimated using an established formula:

V x D x P

where

V = Annual value of crop
D = Dependency of the crop on insect pollinators
P = Proportion of effective insect pollinators of the crop that are honey bees
The estimates used for D and P are those used by Morse and Calderone (2000).

5.3. Estimated contribution of Canadian honey bee pollination to value of key crops in 2013 – thousands of Canadian dollars

Crop D1
(1 =100%)
P2
(1 =100%)
D x P3
(1 =100%)
V4
(Can$ '000)
Value of Honey Bee Pollination
D x P x V

Notes:

  • D = Dependency of the crop on insect pollinators.
  • P = Proportion of effective insect pollinators of the crop that are honey bees.
  • D x P = Combined coefficient.
  • V = 2013 value of crop.
  • − = no value

Sources:

The estimates used for D and P are those used by Morse and Calderone (2000)
The estimates for crop value: Statistics Canada

Apples 1 0.9 0.9 197,391 177,652
Apricots 0.7 0.8 0.56 781 437
Sour cherries 0.9 0.9 0.81 10,328 8,366
Sweet cherries 0.9 0.9 0.81 44,033 35,667
Nectarines 0.6 0.8 0.48 5,344 2,565
Peaches 0.6 0.8 0.48 33,986 16,313
Pears 0.7 0.9 0.63 7,959 5,014
Plums 0.8 0.9 0.72 7,061 5,084
Total tree fruits - - - 306,883 251,098
Grapes 0.1 0.1 0.01 154,491 1,545
Blueberries 1 0.9 0.9 187,146 168,431
Raspberries 0.8 0.9 0.72 24,514 17,650
Strawberries 0.2 0.1 0.02 69,606 1,392
Cranberries 1 0.9 0.9 94,227 84,804
Total berries - - - 529,984 273,822
Cucumbers 0.9 0.9 0.81 25,742 20,851
Melons 0.8 0.9 0.72 17,988 12,951
Pumpkins 0.9 0.1 0.09 18,023 1,622
Squash/Zucchinis 0.9 0.1 0.09 24,267 2,184
Total cucurbits - - - 86,020 37,608
Canola 0.2 0.9 0.18 7,325,446 1,318,580
Sunflower 1 0.9 0.9 30,322 27,290
Mustard Seed 0.2 0.8 0.16 98,564 15,770
Soybeans 0.1 0.5 0.05 2,491,469 124,573
Total oilseeds - - - 9,945,801 1,486,213
Alfalfa Seed 1 0.1 0.1 25,000 2,500
Total forage seed - - - - -
Total - - - - 2,051,243

5.4. Impact of bee pollination on crop production

Fruits and Vegetables

Insect pollination is critical to the economic performance of key crops in the horticulture (fruit and vegetable) sector. In Table 5.3, the established methodology is used to estimate the contributions of honey bee pollination to the Canadian harvest of major insect-pollinated crops. Apple production in Canada in 2013 generated a total harvest value of $197 million (farm gate value) of which honey bees were responsible for 81% or $177 million. For berries, in the rapidly growing blueberry sector honey bees are responsible for $168 million out of $187 million (81%) in high-bush and low-bush blueberries combined. In total, the 2013 economic contribution of honey bee pollination to production of fruits and vegetables is estimated at $562 million.

Canola

Special consideration of the contribution of honey bees to the production of canola is merited. Most canola planted in Canada today is hybrid seed. The production of hybrid canola seed grown to be subsequently planted by farmers the following season requires precisely timed and thorough insect pollination to bring together the separate genetic lines of the male and female parent plant strains. Since hybrid canola seed is produced primarily with managed pollinators, a portion of the value of this crop can be included as part of the direct agricultural contribution of honey bees through pollination.

Most of the hybrid canola seed produced in Canada is subsequently planted in Canada. While commodity canola is primarily wind-pollinated, research indicates that honey bees foraging on canola can add to harvest quantity and quality. Researchers offer a wide range of estimates for the increase in production linked to honey bee foraging depending on plant variety and a number of local conditions, including the abundance of natural pollinators. The highest estimates suggest a gain approaching 20% in additional harvest value, while more modest gains from 2% to 15% have also been reported. Most of the 455,700 hives in the Prairie provinces forage on commodity canola for several weeks in the peak of summer.

Honey bees are estimated to be responsible for about half of the pollination that makes the production of hybrid canola seed possible (with alfalfa leafcutter bees primarily responsible for the other half). One approach to estimating the magnitude of this contribution is to take this share (50%) of the total farm gate value of canola into account as a key economic contribution of honey bees to the total value produced by Canadian agriculture. Total farm cash receipts for producers of canola were $7.3 billion in 2013. If honey bees are credited with making 50% of the production of canola seed possible (for a contributed value $3.66 billion), in order to avoid double counting, the additional estimated contribution from honey bee pollination to commodity canola from Table 5.3 must be removed from the total contribution. The additional agricultural value of all other crop pollination, less canola, is $733 million, generating a total estimate for the contribution of honey bees of $4.39 billion.

An alternative model for estimating the contribution of honey bees to canola crops could be based on the additional contribution to harvest volume through the development and adoption of hybrid canola seed technology over the past twenty years - made possible through the use of managed insect pollination. Hybrid canola seed has increased harvest volumes by a (conservatively) estimated 30%, all other things being equal, compared with non-hybrid canola. If honey bees make half of the 30% increase in canola harvest value possible as they provide about half of the managed pollination to make the seed, for 2013 that contribution (half of 30%, or 15% of total harvest) would be valued at $1.1 billion. The total contribution to agriculture of honey bees from adopting this approach is $3.15 billion: $2.05 billion (for contribution to increased harvest "in field" from Table 5.3) and $1.1 billion in value contribution by making possible the adoption of more productive hybrid canola seed technology.   

5.5. Estimated economic contribution of honey bee pollination to crop production

The 2013 total annual economic contribution of honey bee pollination through direct additional harvest value is estimated at $2.05 billion (Table 5.3). Value beyond this is created by the contribution of honey bees to the production of hybrid canola seed—which, depending on the approach chosen, was valued at between $1.1 billion and $3.66 billion per year in 2013. The contribution to canola production combined with other agricultural production which benefits from honey bee pollination suggests the economic harvest value contributed by honey bees ranges from $3.15 to $4.39 billion per year. 

While a more rigorous and detailed scientific assessment of each commodity in production could produce higher or lower estimates, this analysis shows that the value to agriculture of honey bee pollination is substantially greater than the value of honey and other hive products produced (about $200 million per year). This estimate does not capture the growing contribution of alfalfa leafcutter bees to canola and blueberry production, nor the valuable contribution of natural pollinators.

6. Key Resources

  • Global Trade Atlas
  • Statistics Canada. (CANSIM TABLE 001-0007)
  • Statistics Canada. (CANSIM TABLE 002-0001)
  • 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: 0106410011 0106410012 0106410020 0106900011 0106900012 0106900020  

Alternative formats

Help with alternative formats

Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry and the Economic Contribution of Honey Bee Pollination, 2013-2014 (PDF version, 793 KB)

Date modified: