Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey and Bee Industry, 2015

Alternative Format

Overview

In 2015, over 8,500 beekeepers across Canada kept one or more honey bee colonies, with a total national population of over 720,000 colonies. After four years of growth, the number of beekeepers fell 4% in 2015 from the previous year. The total number of honey bee colonies has continuously increased over the past decade, peaking in 2015. The increase in the numbers of colonies correlated with rising honey prices which drove the total value of honey produced in Canada to $231 million in 2015. The year 2015 also saw record volumes of honey production, estimated at 95 million pounds, 5% more than the 90.5 million pounds recorded in 2012.

The majority of 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 honey production. Alberta alone had 296,000 bee colonies in 2015, which represents 41% of Canada’s total.

Ontario currently has the largest number of beekeepers, with 2,562 of the 8,533 national total. British Columbia and Alberta have the second and third largest number of beekeepers, with 2,363 and 1,000 beekeepers respectively.

The Prairie provinces, taken together, produced 77 million pounds, which comprises 81% of Canada’s honey production in 2015. Alberta contributed the most to Canada’s overall honey production with 45%, followed by Saskatchewan (20%) and Manitoba (17%). Alberta experienced the largest increases in honey production and value in 2015 (20% and 17%, respectively).

In 2015, Canada’s honey industry recorded a positive trade balance of $23.7 million, up 46% from the previous year’s balance. However, this increase in trade balance in 2015 still remains lower than the highest trade balance of $58.3 million achieved in 2012. After two consecutive years of decreases since 2012, Canada’s total honey export was over $64 million in 2015, an increase of 33% from 2014. The United States is the largest export destination for Canadian honey and accounted for 69% of all honey exports in 2015. The second and third largest honey export destinations are Japan and China, respectively.

Canada imported $41 million worth of honey in 2015, the highest total value of imports in the previous five years. In recent years, Argentina was the largest exporter of honey (by value) to Canada; however, its total value of honey exports to Canada declined significantly, from $5.6 million in 2014 to just $1.5 million in 2015, dropping to seventh place among exporting countries. New Zealand became the largest exporter of honey to Canada in 2015, with an import value of $7.5 million. Brazil and the United States were the second and third largest sources of Canadian imports, valued at $7.3 million and $6.2 million, respectively. Most of the imports from New Zealand and Brazil are types of honey that are not produced here, such as that from Manuka flowers, which generate premium prices.

1.1. Number of beekeepers[1] by province

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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 (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 43 46 47 45 45
Nova Scotia 209 230 287 320 395
New Brunswick 209 244 244 277 291
Quebec 268 305 296 309 315
Ontario2,900 3,200 3,155 3,262 2,562
Manitoba501 517 532 546 607
Saskatchewan 850 748 715 719 955
Alberta 798 883 890 1,015 1,000
British Columbia 1,935 2,139 2,323 2,405 2,363
Canada[2] 7,713 8,312 8,489 8,898 8,533

1.2. Number of beekeepers by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Number of beekeepers by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 30%
  • British Columbia: 28%
  • Alberta: 12%
  • Saskatchewan: 11%
  • Manitoba: 7%
  • Others: 12%

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

1.3. Number of colonies[1] by province

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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 (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 2,954 3,719 4,432 3,777 4,005
Nova Scotia 19,300 19,000 19,500 23,000 23,776
New Brunswick 4,500 5,650 4,318 5,441 6,710
Quebec 41,407 49,708 47,203 49,635 53,000
Ontario 90,000 101,000 97,500 112,800 101,135
Manitoba 77,000 80,000 73,800 78,700 90,909
Saskatchewan 90,000 110,000 100,000 95,000 101,000
Alberta 274,600 278,400 278,100 282,900 295,000
British Columbia 38,159 42,560 42,544 44,999 45,571
Canada[2] 637,920 690,037 667,397 696,252 721,106

1.4. Number of colonies by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Number of colonies by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 41%
  • Ontario: 14%
  • Saskatchewan: 14%
  • Manitoba: 13%
  • Quebec: 7%
  • Others: 11%

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

1.5. Number of beekeepers and number of colonies by province

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
  • Number of beekeepers by province
    • Prince Edward Island: 45
    • Nova Scotia: 395
    • New Brunswick: 291
    • Quebec: 315
    • Ontario: 2,562
    • Manitoba: 607
    • Saskatchewan: 955
    • Alberta: 1,000
    • British Columbia: 2,363
  • Number of colonies by province
    • Prince Edward Island: 4,005
    • Nova Scotia: 23,776
    • New Brunswick: 6,710
    • Quebec: 53,000
    • Ontario: 101,135
    • Manitoba: 90,909
    • Saskatchewan: 101,000
    • Alberta: 295,000
    • British Columbia: 45,571

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Notes:

1. Production excludes inventory

2. Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has limited beekeeping.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 271 184 176 155 164
Nova Scotia 248 400 495 430 420
New Brunswick 208 199 207 236 276
Quebec 2,867 4,395 3,286 4,196 3,747
Ontario 9,023 9,439 6,363 10,577 9,405
Manitoba 15,400 13,200 12,472 14,087 16,000
Saskatchewan 15,930 23,125 18,200 16,530 18,837
Alberta 34,050 38,000 33,200 35,500 42,755
British Columbia 1,826 1,817 2,069 3,840 3,692
Canada[2] 79,824 90,759 76,468 85,551 95,296

1.7. Total honey production by province – percent share[1], 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Number of colonies by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 45%
  • Saskatchewan: 20%
  • Manitoba: 17%
  • Ontario: 10%
  • British Columbia: 4%
  • Others: 5%

Note:

1. Total is not equal to 100 due to rounding. Source: Statistics Canada

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

1.8. Value[1] of honey by province - thousands of dollars

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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 (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Prince Edward Island 813 551 453 415 569
Nova Scotia 745 1,260 1,559 1,257 1,297
New Brunswick 781 503 517 630 740
Quebec 10,234 12,291 12,279 13,386 12,500
Ontario 22,537 23,815 20,362 36,147 33,858
Manitoba 24,948 23,100 25,318 30,288 32,400
Saskatchewan 24,692 38,156 37,310 34,713 37,700
Alberta 59,168 68,340 72,905 79,788 93,418
British Columbia 6,774 8,190 10,580 12,617 19,471
Canada[2] 150,691 176,206 181,283 209,241 231,953

1.9. Value of honey by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Value of honey by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 40%
  • Saskatchewan: 16%
  • Ontario: 15%
  • Manitoba: 14%
  • British Columbia: 8%
  • Others: 7%

Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

2. Trade

2.1. Trade balance

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
Exports 38,543 73,237 59,135 48,426 64,883
Imports 13,324 14,923 26,015 32,215 41,209
Trade Balance (Exports - Imports) 25,219 58,315 33,120 16,211 23,674

2.2. Exports

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

Note:

1. Exports may include honey not produced in that province.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

Prince Edward Island 284 58 19 0 34
Nova Scotia 71 2 2 3 2
Quebec 7,149 19,265 11,650 4,369 6,480
Ontario 1,932 2,140 2,273 2,327 2,735
Manitoba 14,435 23,097 15,571 11,274 17,745
Saskatchewan 4,449 17,294 16,056 13,764 15,640
Alberta 9,389 10,995 12,832 14,929 20,499
British Columbia 835 386 733 1,759 1,748
Canada 38,543 73,237 59,135 48,426 64,883

2.2.2. Canada's honey exports by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Canada's honey exports by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 32%
  • Manitoba: 27%
  • Saskatchewan: 24%
  • Quebec: 10%
  • Ontario: 4%
  • Others: 3%

Source: Statistics Canada. (CATSNET, May 2016)

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
Prince Edward Island 36 3 2 0 6
Nova Scotia 19 0 0 0 0
Quebec 1,804 4,963 2,392 787 1,116
Ontario 297 383 332 314 360
Manitoba 3,600 5,779 3,334 2,187 3,316
Saskatchewan 1,311 4,455 3,335 2,645 2,999
Alberta 2,168 2,566 2,507 2,840 3,640
British Columbia 218 75 146 316 264
Canada 9,453 18,224 12,050 9,090 11,701

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
United States 27,605 61,870 45,454 29,705 44,541
Japan 7,860 8,771 11,873 16,308 16,176
China 973 1,067 1,174 1,665 2,522
South Korea 19 207 5 0 751
Hong Kong 368 332 141 504 287
France 262 379 233 1 221
Kuwait 0 0 0 0 118
Greece 24 17 2 0 66
Barbados 69 70 24 39 55
Algeria 14 0 0 0 31
Others 1,349 525 230 204 114
Total 38,543 73,237 59,135 48,426 64,883

2.2.5. Canada's top honey export destinations by country – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

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

  • United States: 69%
  • Japan: 25%
  • China: 4%
  • Others: 2%

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

2.2.6. Canada's top 10 honey export destinations - volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
United States 7,148 15,832 9,385 5,577 8,234
Japan 1,690 1,897 2,363 3,143 2,810
China 191 203 196 250 402
South Korea 4 37 1 0 116
Hong Kong 46 47 22 85 43
France 57 69 37 0 26
Kuwait 0 0 0 0 21
Greece 4 3 1 0 12
Barbados 12 12 4 6 9
Algeria 3 0 0 0 8
Others 297 123 40 29 19
Total 9,453 18,224 12,050 9,090 11,701

2.3. Imports

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
Nova Scotia 749 760 3,087 2,819 408
New Brunswick 646 417 0 0 113
Quebec 3,878,440 4,750,239 6,722,969 11,426,777 14,004,883
Ontario 7,391,401 8,145,010 16,897,806 16,835,830 21,683,754
Manitoba 145,556 38,072 292,122 603,335 453,018
Saskatchewan 12,755 13,177 13,083 48 53,687
Alberta 18,897 79,620 9,986 123,767 813,019
British Columbia 1,875,952 1,895,226 2,076,442 3,222,272 4,199,835
Canada 13,324,396 14,922,521 26,015,495 32,214,848 41,208,717

2.3.2. Canada's honey imports by province – percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Canada's honey imports by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 53%
  • Quebec: 34%
  • British Columbia: 10%
  • Others: 3%

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
Nova Scotia 180 56 649 614 60
New Brunswick 131 73 0 0 9
Quebec 1,071,403 1,397,198 1,760,803 2,848,540 3,219,694
Ontario 1,499,611 1,801,179 3,400,794 3,105,020 3,552,532
Manitoba 38,193 8,784 69,323 57,412 53,698
Saskatchewan 2,598 2,231 3,074 4 5,583
Alberta 2,220 5,155 927 10,558 99,573
British Columbia 223,619 220,302 258,886 316,357 384,085
Canada 2,837,955 3,434,978 5,494,456 6,338,505 7,315,234

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
New Zealand 2,157 2,799 3,749 4,652 7,484
Brazil 2,534 1,672 3,811 6,059 7,302
United States 1,633 1,447 3,065 3,759 6,162
Australia 2,132 2,600 2,789 2,610 4,250
Spain 31 21 42 332 3,271
Thailand 0 0 0 521 2,586
Argentina 1,138 3,834 8,696 5,574 1,512
China 61 198 71 1,216 1,433
Greece 749 788 1,388 878 1,399
India 633 387 582 1,072 1,036
Others 2,258 1,176 1,822 5,543 4,775
Total 13,324 14,923 26,015 32,215 41,209

2.3.5. Canada's top sources of honey imports by country - percent share, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

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

  • New Zealand: 18%
  • Brazil: 18%
  • United States: 15%
  • Australia: 10%
  • Spain: 8%
  • Others: 31%

Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)

2.3.6. Canada's top 10 sources of honey imports - volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
New Zealand 165 375 197 245 292
Brazil 750 495 1,039 1,430 1,528
United States 428 338 707 615 939
Australia 331 366 410 308 506
Spain 5 4 7 76 766
Thailand 0 0 0 167 765
Argentina 338 1,322 2,398 1,288 444
China 24 91 27 468 553
Greece 86 132 248 139 253
India 158 93 127 286 223
Others 553 220 335 1,317 1,046
Total 2,838 3,435 5,494 6,339 7,315

2.3.7. Canada's Sources for honey bee (package) imports - value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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, May 2016)

New Zealand 2,746 2,110 3,398 3,794 3,602
Australia 333 414 1,494 1,579 1,275
Total 3,079 2,524 4,892 5,388 5,101

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Statistics Canada (CATSNET, May 2016)
United States 3,021 3,399 4,265 5,364 6,417
Australia 150 264 259 109 56
Chile 156 50 168 149 128
New Zealand 159 149 91 104 109
Denmark 4 4 0 14 0
Total 3,490 3,867 4,782 5,740 6,710

3. Consumption

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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 (CANSIM Table 002-0011)

Honey 0.91 0.81 0.84 1.06 1.14

4. World data

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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)
China 200,160 214,624 254,821 288,046 370,299
New Zealand 86,548 103,745 144,133 185,525 253,729
Argentina 220,465 215,152 217,318 224,349 208,015
Mexico 88,328 101,861 115,906 161,318 196,692
Germany 113,814 121,146 134,764 155,648 167,103
India 66,644 60,753 78,038 85,400 155,276
Spain 78,083 79,911 94,788 132,191 129,985
Ukraine 27,685 30,962 54,739 103,466 108,802
Belgium 53,907 54,137 68,580 83,454 106,408
Brazil 69,829 52,393 55,830 108,566 104,106
Others 493,534 622,907 1,084,661 827,064 896,370
Total 1,498,997 1,657,590 2,303,579 2,355,027 2,696,786

4.2. Top 10 honey exporting countries, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Top 10 honey exporting countries

  • China: 370,299
  • New Zealand: 253,729
  • Argentina: 208,015
  • Mexico: 196,692
  • Germany: 167,103
  • India: 155,276
  • Spain: 129,985
  • Ukraine: 108,802
  • Belgium: 106,408
  • Brazil: 104,106
  • Others: 896,370

Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)

4.3. Top 10 exporters of honey worldwide - volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)
China 99,894 110,158 124,901 129,824 144,756
New Zealand 8,416 8,616 9,568 9,503 10,646
Argentina 72,356 75,113 64,760 54,407 45,596
Mexico 26,888 32,040 33,458 39,152 42,161
Germany 19,025 21,112 21,921 22,872 23,731
India 25,343 24,514 29,465 26,976 40,829
Spain 18,449 19,661 21,284 26,111 30,150
Ukraine 9,894 13,320 21,731 36,336 36,051
Belgium 16,687 16,557 20,066 21,517 25,897
Brazil 22,399 16,707 16,181 25,317 22,206
Others 115,839 192,897 984,180 175,937 171,854
Total 435,190 530,695 1,347,515 567,952 593,877

4.4. Top 10 importers of honey worldwide - value (thousands of Canadian dollars)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)
United States 394,983 430,371 513,947 641,588 770,172
Germany 269,927 281,283 335,528 353,906 424,409
United Kingdom 125,455 112,215 130,550 146,563 168,236
France 109,708 94,229 118,222 171,378 164,558
Japan 116,537 105,220 119,602 132,676 150,898
Belgium 56,076 55,739 65,375 85,930 115,667
Italy 57,329 55,921 77,875 100,075 108,756
China 12,766 26,219 44,284 64,754 96,064
Spain 43,103 48,155 54,944 67,204 93,012
Saudi Arabia 51,646 62,113 69,163 95,367 72,314
Others 393,773 413,773 492,117 614,016 718,688
Total 1,631,303 1,685,236 2,021,607 2,473,458 2,882,774

4.5. Top 10 honey importing countries, 2015

Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Top 10 honey importing countries

  • United States: 770,172
  • Germany: 424,409
  • United Kingdom: 168,236
  • France: 164,558
  • Japan: 150,898
  • Belgium: 115,667
  • Italy: 108,756
  • China: 96,064
  • Spain: 93,012
  • Saudi Arabia: 72,314

Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)

4.6. Top 10 importers of honey worldwide - volume (metric tonnes)

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Source: Global Trade Tracker (May 2016)
United States 130,494 141,016 153,065 165,961 175,205
Germany 78,036 84,417 90,954 85,486 90,345
United Kingdom 35,812 34,214 38,338 39,029 41,893
France 27,574 25,840 28,989 34,715 32,932
Japan 40,584 36,823 39,030 37,870 36,222
Belgium 21,144 20,814 24,313 28,002 32,398
Italy 15,154 15,220 18,493 21,174 23,549
China 2,468 3,370 4,860 5,794 6,521
Spain 17,961 21,081 22,096 24,367 30,651
Saudi Arabia 14,003 16,552 17,502 21,393 15,035
Others 101,085 111,616 124,121 143,006 150,156
Total 484,315 510,963 561,761 606,797 634,907

5. Key Resources

  • Global Trade Tracker
  • 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 2015 (PDF version, 781 KB)

Date modified: