Statistical Overview of the Canadian Honey Industry - 2013

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Overview

In 2013, over 8,400 beekeepers across Canada kept one or more honeybee colonies, for a total of more than 672,094 colonies. While the 2013 colony population was 2.7% lower than the record high in 2012 (690,037 colonies) it represents a 9% increase in total colonies compared to the average of the previous five years. The majority of these bee colonies are in the Prairies, where long summer days are ideal for foraging; Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collectively accounted for 84% of the country’s total honey production. In total, Canadian honeybee colonies yielded more than 75 million pounds of honey in 2013, down 16% from 2012.  Despite this decline in volume, due to higher prices, the total value of honey produced in Canada totaled just over $176 million in 2013, down only 1% from 2012.

Looking at the trend over the last five years, the number of beekeepers remains on the rise. From 2009 to 2013, there has been a steady increase in the number of beekeepers, with 2013 demonstrating a 2% increase from 2012. Nova Scotia saw the largest increase in the number of beekeepers in 2013, up 16%. Ontario continues to have the largest number of beekeepers, with 3,150 of the 8,483 operating in Canada. British Columbia and Alberta have the second and third largest number of beekeepers with 2,323 and 900 beekeepers respectively. New bee colonies are created each season due to investment by beekeepers in maintaining and growing their operations. New Brunswick saw the greatest decrease in colonies, down 24% from 2012. Manitoba and Saskatchewan also experienced a decrease in total colonies, down 9% and 7% respectively. On the other hand, Prince Edward Island demonstrated a 19% increase in total colonies, a total of 4,432 colonies. Even though Quebec had the largest number of beekeepers, Alberta remains the province with the largest number of colonies, at 280,000 in 2013.

Nova Scotia recorded the largest increase in honey production in 2013, with total yields being 23% greater than 2012, at 2,069 million pounds. British Columbia and New Brunswick had the second and third largest increase in honey production, up 13% and 4% respectively. All other provinces had a decrease in total production, with Ontario having the largest decrease, down 32% from 2012. Consistent with being the province with the largest number of colonies, Alberta remains the largest producer of honey in 2013, producing 32 million pounds, valued at $70 million.

Canada is a net exporter of honey. In 2013, total exports of Canadian honey were just over $59 million, down 19% from 2012. The United States is the largest export destination for Canadian honey, accounting for 77% of all honey exports. Japan and China are the second and third largest export destinations respectively.

Canada’s total honey imports totalled $26 million in 2013. Canada imported 5,494 tonnes of honey, valued at just over $8.6 million, from Argentina, the most from any country in 2013. Brazil and New Zealand were the second and third largest sources of honey imports; Canada imported $3.8 million and $3.7 million worth of honey from those two countries, respectively.

1.0 Production

1.1 Number of Beekeepers[1] by Province

  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)
[1] Beekeeper numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Prince Edward Island 28 33 43 46 45
Nova Scotia 205 215 209 230 265
New Brunswick 180 204 209 244 244
Quebec 245 262 268 305 310
Ontario 2,500 2,600 2,900 3,200 3,150
Manitoba 474 490 501 517 531
Saskatchewan 971 965 850 748 715
Alberta 683 769 798 883 900
British Columbia 1,742 1,865 1,935 2,139 2,323
Canada[2] 7,028 7,403 7,713 8,312 8,483

1.2 Number of Beekeepers by Province – Percent Share, 2013

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of the above image.

Number of beekeepers by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 37%
  • British Columbia: 28%
  • Alberta: 11%
  • Saskatchewan: 8%
  • Manitoba: 6%
  • Others: 10%

1.3 Number of Colonies[1] by Province

  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)
[1] Colony numbers may include pollinators that may not extract honey.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Prince Edward Island 3,530 2,605 2,954 3,719 4,432
Nova Scotia 19,500 18,500 19,300 19,000 19,500
New Brunswick 2,700 4,288 4,500 5,650 4,318
Quebec 36,536 39,812 41,407 49,708 50,000
Ontario 82,000 83,150 90,000 101,000 97,500
Manitoba 70,746 78,000 77,000 80,000 73,800
Saskatchewan 85,000 86,000 90,000 110,000 100,000
Alberta 251,000 266,000 274,600 278,400 280,000
British Columbia 41,108 41,936 38,159 42,560 42,544
Canada[2] 592,120 620,291 637,920 690,037 672,094

1.4 Number of Colonies by Province – Percent Share, 2013

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of the above image.

Number of colonies by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 42%
  • Saskatchewan: 15%
  • Ontario: 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 the above image.
  BeekeepersColonies
Prince Edward Island 45 4,432
Nova Scotia 265 19,500
New Brunswick 244 4,318
Quebec 310 50,000
Ontario 3,150 97,500
Manitoba 531 73,800
Saskatchewan 715 100,000
Alberta 900 280,000
British Columbia 2,323 42,544
Canada 8,483 672,094

1.6 Total Honey Production[1] by Province

Total honey production by province (in pounds (000))
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)
[1] Production excludes inventory.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Prince Edward Island 265 201 271 184 176
Nova Scotia 416 528 248 400 495
New Brunswick 189 257 208 199 207
Quebec 2,039 4,030 2,867 4,395 3,306
Ontario 5,730 8,814 9,023 9,439 6,363
Manitoba 13,017 12,870 15,400 13,200 12,472
Saskatchewan 17,000 18,404 15,930 23,125 18,200
Alberta 29,116 34,580 34,050 38,000 32,200
British Columbia 2,590 1,988 1,826 1,817 2,069
Canada[2] 70,362 81,672 79,824 90,759 75,488

1.7 Total Honey Production by Province – Percent Share, 2013

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Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of the above image.

Total honey production by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 43%
  • Saskatchewan: 24%
  • Manitoba: 17%
  • Ontario: 8%
  • Quebec: 4%
  • Others: 4%

1.8 Value[1] of Honey by Province

Value of honey by province (in Can$ (000))
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)
[1] Value excludes inventory sales except for in Quebec.
[2] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Prince Edward Island 530 603 813 551 453
Nova Scotia 1,248 1,584 745 1,260 1,559
New Brunswick 708 963 781 503 517
Quebec 7,837 9,516 10,234 12,291 10,000
Ontario 14,133 20,379 22,537 23,815 20,362
Manitoba 19,916 19,562 24,948 23,100 25,318
Saskatchewan 25,500 28,526 24,692 38,156 37,310
Alberta 48,837 56,230 59,168 68,340 70,054
British Columbia 7,544 6,834 6,774 8,190 10,580
Canada[2] 126,253 144,197 150,691 176,206 176,153

1.9 Value of Honey by Province – Percent Share, 2013

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Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 001-0007)

Description of the above image.

Value of honey by province – percent share

  • Alberta: 40%
  • Saskatchewan: 21%
  • Manitoba: 14%
  • Ontario: 12%
  • British Columbia: 6%
  • Others: 7%

2.0 Farm Cash Receipts

2.1 Honey Farm Cash Receipts by Province

Honey Farm Cash Receipts by Province (in Can$ (000))
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CANSIM Table 002-0001)
[1] Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.
Prince Edward Island 526 570 719 669 497
Nova Scotia 1,063 1,450 1,080 1,054 1,439
New Brunswick 546 848 863 628 511
Quebec 7,837 9,516 10,234 12,291 10,000
Ontario 11,414 17,689 21,350 23,112 22,261
Manitoba 19,000 19,693 22,955 23,784 24,497
Saskatchewan 25,269 27,467 26,034 33,444 37,606
Alberta 44,293 53,199 57,963 64,579 69,351
British Columbia 6,926 7,083 6,795 7,694 9,744
Canada[1] 116,874 137,514 147,993 167,255 175,906

3.0 Trade

3.1 Trade Balance

3.1.1 Canada’s Honey Trade Balance

Canada’s Honey Trade Balance (in Can$ (000))
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada, (CATSNet May 2014)
Exports 47,122 56,995 38,543 73,237 59,149
Imports 20,700 14,493 13,324 14,923 26,029
Trade Balance (Exports - Imports) 26,422 42,502 25,219 58,315 33,119

3.2 Exports

3.2.1 Canada’s Honey Exports[1] by Province

Canada’s honey exports by province (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net May 2014)
[1] Exports may include honey not produced in that province.
Prince Edward Island 15,000 24,895 283,883 57,972 18,651
Nova Scotia 3,629 358,397 70,804 1,967 1,983
New Brunswick 0 65,665 0 0 0
Quebec 4,411,251 7,906,512 7,148,631 19,264,744 11,650,373
Ontario 2,985,455 1,813,707 1,931,702 2,140,265 2,272,928
Manitoba 17,693,867 18,781,935 14,435,170 23,096,811 15,570,887
Saskatchewan 4,950,750 11,322,221 4,448,501 17,294,438 16,055,902
Alberta 16,924,051 15,530,459 9,388,582 10,995,268 12,845,177
British Columbia 138,259 1,191,317 835,397 385,833 733,048
Canada 47,122,262 56,995,108 38,543,063 73,237,298 59,148,949
Canada’s honey exports by province (in kilograms)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net May 2014)
Prince Edward Island 2,727 4,526 36,328 2,933 2,465
Nova Scotia 668 71,090 19,181 265 277
New Brunswick 0 18,593 0 0 0
Quebec 1,128,942 2,087,139 1,803,576 4,963,349 2,392,390
Ontario 695,936 275,010 297,322 382,586 332,366
Manitoba 4,448,094 4,972,647 3,599,622 5,778,941 3,334,425
Saskatchewan 1,368,718 3,108,937 1,310,909 4,455,482 3,335,450
Alberta 4,261,284 4,110,291 2,168,374 2,566,012 2,509,211
British Columbia 22,781 283,882 217,925 74,636 145,818
Canada 11,929,150 14,932,115 9,453,309 18,224,204 12,052,402

3.2.2 Canada’s Honey Exports[1] by Province – Percent Share, 2013

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net May 2014)
[1] Exports may include honey not produced in that province.

Description of the above image.

Canada’s honey exports by province – percent share

  • Saskatchewan: 27%
  • Manitoba: 26%
  • Alberta: 22%
  • Quebec: 20%
  • Ontario: 4%
  • Others: 1%

3.2.3 Canada’s Top 10 Honey Export Destinations

Canada’s top 10 honey export destinations (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net July 2014)
United States 33,257,702 41,136,613 27,605,258 61,870,179 45,453,753
Japan 6,714,312 9,848,183 7,860,065 8,770,713 11,872,813
China 1,530,989 917,367 972,818 1,066,514 1,187,978
France 341,638 267,623 262,207 378,731 232,666
Hong Kong 84,702 215,348 367,799 331,691 140,970
Belgium 173,341 89,840 0 207,744 107,409
Italy 0 0 0 0 36,635
Tunisia 0 0 0 0 24,559
Barbados 87,404 134,755 68,759 70,408 24,002
Taiwan 87,005 67,660 18,495 14,117 21,908
Others 4,845,169 4,317,719 1,387,662 527,201 46,256
Total 47,122,262 56,995,108 38,543,063 73,237,298 59,148,949
Canada’s top 10 honey export destinations (in kilograms)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net July 2014)
United States 8,302,454 11,053,443 7,148,189 15,831,774 9,385,467
Japan 1,692,286 2,440,219 1,690,307 1,896,912 2,363,414
China 456,944 173,227 191,261 203,363 198,687
France 72,602 59,368 56,869 69,332 36,986
Hong Kong 17,278 23,274 45,694 47,360 22,320
Belgium 37,322 20,852 0 62,294 20,249
Italy 0 0 0 0 5,697
Tunisia 0 0 0 0 4,456
Barbados 18,161 21,687 12,470 12,084 3,510
Taiwan 14,251 12,664 3,703 3,405 3,466
Others 1,317,852 1,127,381 304,816 97,680 8,150
Total 11,929,150 14,932,115 9,453,309 18,224,204 12,052,402

3.2.4 Canada’s Top Honey Export Destinations by Country – Percent Share, 2013

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Source: Statistics Canada, (CATS Net July 2014)

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

  • United States: 77%
  • Japan: 20%
  • China: 2%
  • Others: 1%

3.3 Imports

3.3.1 Canada’s Honey Imports by Province

Canada’s Honey Imports by Province (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net May 2014)
Nova Scotia 2,515 1,357 749 760 3,087
New Brunswick 196 462 646 417 0
Quebec 2,059,428 2,646,818 3,878,440 4,750,239 6,736,935
Ontario 15,316,405 9,397,161 7,391,401 8,145,010 16,897,806
Manitoba 190,698 159,536 145,556 38,072 292,122
Saskatchewan 6,067 0 12,755 13,177 13,083
Alberta 39,420 11,822 18,897 79,620 9,986
British Columbia 3,085,752 2,275,641 1,875,952 1,895,226 2,076,442
Canada 20,700,481 14,492,797 13,324,396 14,922,521 26,029,461
Canada’s Honey Imports by Province (in kilogarms)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net May 2014)
Nova Scotia 554 300 180 56 649
New Brunswick 49 114 131 73 0
Quebec 556,858 787,959 1,071,403 1,397,198 1,761,240
Ontario 3,644,997 2,074,837 1,499,611 1,801,179 3,400,794
Manitoba 55,837 51,690 38,193 8,784 69,323
Saskatchewan 2,400 0 2,598 2,231 3,074
Alberta 8,256 1,216 2,220 5,155 927
British Columbia 590,148 342,022 223,619 220,302 258,886
Canada 4,859,099 3,258,138 2,837,955 3,434,978 5,494,893

3.3.2 Canada’s Honey Imports by Province – Percent Share, 2013

Description of this image follows.

Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net May 2014)

Description of the above image.

Canada’s honey imports by province – percent share

  • Ontario: 65%
  • Quebec: 26%
  • British Columbia: 8%
  • Others: 1%

3.3.3 Canada’s Top 10 Sources of Honey Imports

Canada’s top 10 sources of honey imports (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net June 2014)
Argentina 383,014 2,586,321 1,137,985 3,834,219 8,695,827
Brazil 2,624,581 2,234,227 2,533,792 1,671,963 3,810,667
New Zealand 1,341,212 1,824,963 2,156,576 2,799,001 3,763,458
United States 2,662,963 1,885,011 1,632,628 1,447,090 3,065,478
Australia 11,669,660 3,427,724 2,131,605 2,600,480 2,788,815
Greece 440,530 650,812 748,635 787,559 1,387,871
India 318,579 709,117 633,247 386,851 582,183
Germany 172,833 168,373 230,710 320,192 334,392
Switzerland 263,454 244,190 189,943 182,174 223,705
Saudi Arabia 12,330 50,156 148,946 34,886 180,033
Others 811,325 711,903 1,780,329 858,106 1,197,032
Total 20,700,481 14,492,797 13,324,396 14,922,521 26,029,461
Canada’s top 10 sources of honey imports (in kilograms)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net June 2014)
Argentina 116,195 838,970 338,066 1,322,066 2,397,804
Brazil 825,366 724,445 750,049 494,605 1,039,335
United States 656,651 497,215 428,134 337,716 706,722
Australia 2,767,755 625,370 331,041 366,269 410,171
Greece 29,359 47,021 85,648 131,563 248,435
New Zealand 160,924 114,444 165,049 375,345 197,757
India 83,334 192,630 158,100 92,508 126,707
Germany 32,187 26,817 37,293 60,448 55,958
Switzerland 34,076 36,662 30,929 24,589 32,403
Cuba 0 13,179 7,644 10,080 30,240
Others 153,252 141,385 506,002 219,789 249,361
Total 4,859,099 3,258,138 2,837,955 3,434,978 5,494,893

3.3.4 Canada’s Top Sources of Honey Imports by Country - Percent Share, 2013

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Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net June 2014)

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

  • Argentina: 33%
  • Brazil: 15%
  • New Zealand: 14%
  • United States: 12%
  • Australia: 11%
  • Others: 15%

3.3.5 Canada’s Sources for Honey Bee Imports

Canada’s sources for honey bee imports (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net July 2014)
New Zealand 1,053,287 833,682 2,746,392 2,110,082 3,397,507
Australia 110,405 56,268 333,036 414,177 1,494,051
Total 1,173,269 889,950 3,079,428 2,524,259 4,891,558
Canada’s sources for honey bee imports (number of packages)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net July 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.
New Zealand 10,091 10,142 38,150 28,603 45,912
Australia 768 480 4,316 5,310 19,154
Total 11,360 10,622 42,466 33,913 65,066

3.3.6 Canada’s Sources for Queen Bee Imports

Canada’s sources for queen bee imports (in Can$)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net June 2014)
United States 2,674,809 2,583,859 3,020,885 3,399,366 4,264,789
Australia 85,472 502,757 149,778 264,162 258,578
Chile 237,107 188,772 156,277 50,002 168,287
New Zealand 22,035 142,617 159,005 149,167 90,793
Total 3,039,501 3,432,300 3,489,891 3,867,178 4,782,447
Canada’s sources for queen bee imports (number)
  20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada (CATS Net June 2014)
United States 153,623 161,025 167,042 169,954 204,691
Australia 5,781 7,145 10,635 18,063 18,340
Chile 15,607 12,847 10,376 2,453 9,106
New Zealand 1,426 7,502 7,577 7,155 4,371
Total 177,886 189,101 195,846 197,841 236,508

4.0 Consumption

4.1 Honey Available for Consumption in Canada

Kilograms per person
Commodity20092010201120122013
Source: Statistics Canada. (CANSIM Table 002-0011)
Note: Does not adjust for losses, such as waste and/or spoilage in stores, households, private institutions or restaurants or losses during preparation.
Honey 0.79 0.80 0.91 0.82 0.84

5.0 World Data

5.1 Top 10 Exporters of Honey Worldwide

Top 10 Exporters of Honey Worldwide (in Can$ (000))
  20092010201120122013
Source: Global Trade Atlas (July 2014)
Note: Canada placed 11th worldwide in 2013.
China 141 188 200 215 255
Argentina 185 178 220 215 217
New Zealand 68 73 87 104 144
Germany 130 115 114 121 131
Mexico 92 88 88 102 116
Spain 71 84 79 81 93
Hungary 69 63 60 63 88
India 22 58 66 61 80
Belgium 44 50 54 54 69
Italy 20 32 32 38 61
Others 509 484 506 554 659
Total 1,353 1,414 1,506 1,609 1,912

5.2 Top 10 Honey Exporting Countries, 2013

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Source: Global Trade Atlas (July 2014)

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Top 10 honey exporting countries (in Can$ (000)):

  • China: 255
  • Argentina: 217
  • New Zealand: 144
  • Germany: 131
  • Mexico: 116
  • Spain: 93
  • Hungary: 88
  • India: 80
  • Belgium: 69
  • Italy: 61
  • Others: 659
  • Total: 1,912

5.3 Top 10 Importers of Honey Worldwide

Top 10 importers of honey worldwide
  20092010201120122013
Source: Global Trade Atlas (July 2014)
United States 251 302 381 416 495
Germany 296 303 270 281 332
United Kingdom 117 108 125 114 130
Japan 99 104 117 105 120
France 98 100 110 94 117
Italy 59 55 57 56 78
Belgium 52 52 56 56 65
Spain 42 39 45 48 54
Poland 24 32 38 35 50
Netherlands 42 35 44 39 48
Others 282 305 309 348 421
Total 1,362 1,437 1,552 1,592 1,911

5.4 Top 10 Honey Importing Countries, 2013

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Source: Global Trade Atlas (July 2014)

Description of the above image.

Top 10 honey importing countries (in Can$ (000)):

  • United States: 495
  • Germany: 332
  • United Kingdom: 130
  • Japan: 120
  • France: 117
  • Italy: 78
  • Belgium: 65
  • Spain: 54
  • Poland: 50
  • Netherlands: 48
  • Others: 421
  • Total: 1,911

6.0 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

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