Beekeeping Industry

Some 80 percent of colonies are owned by professional beekeepers...

Statistics and Trends

TThe key honey producing provinces are Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, with a total of 475,000 colonies...


A number of associations work across Canada, including the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, Canadian Honey Council...

Courses, Certificates, and Programs

Different organizations and universities in Canada offer beekeeping academic programs and courses...

Harvest and Factors That Affect Produce

There are different factors to take into account, including exposure to pesticides, types of pests, diseases, hive placement, temperature, weather conditions, and others. Speaking of location, keep in mind that bees prefer certain blossoms over others, examples being fruit trees, sage, goldenrod, dandelion, clover, basswood, aster, and alfalfa.

Making Money with Beekeeping Products

Honey enjoys a growing popularity not only in Canada but around the world. What is more, beekeeping businesses produce a selection of products such as propolis, bee pollen, beeswax, and others. The average beehive produces between 9 and 27 kg a year. The average price of honey is about $5.3 per kg. And the good news is that there are many places to promote and sell your produce, including bakeries, harvest festivals, craft fairs, gas stations, grocery stores, malls, health food stores, and farmers markets. To start a beekeeping business in Canada, you may need permits and approvals, implements and equipment, a business plan and financing, and of course, bees.

Permits and Licenses

The required permits and licenses vary from one province to another. In Ontario, for example, beekeeping businesses are regulated under the Food Safety and Quality Act and the Ontario Bees Act. All businesses are required to register on an annual basis with OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs). Beekeeping businesses are required to obtain permits when honeybees leave the territory of Ontario and in other occasions.

Implements and Equipment

For your beekeeping business, you will need a bee brush, smoker, beehive, feeding and extracting tools, hive tools, and others. You will also need things like an outer cover for your hive, containers, extractor, queen excluder, gloves, bee suit, veil, and so on.

Your Business Plan

Developing a good business plan is an important step to secure affordable external financing for your business. The main sections of your plan include your production and marketing plan, goals, business organization, business profile, targets, and financial plan, and others. It is a good idea to include a section on your business operating history, including details such as weaknesses and strengths, labor and management expertise, resources, size, and year of operation. You may want to describe your short-term and long-term goals as well, for example, to diversify your products, build equity, maintain implements and tools in good condition, etc. In your marketing plan, focus on your competitive advantages, price trends, competitors, target market, and potential customers. You may want to include details such as per capita consumption, consumer preferences, and others. To prepare your business plan, use different sources such as magazines, industry periodicals, conferences, and industry associations.

Financing Options for Your Business

Different sources of financing are available in Canada, among which private and government-sponsored loans, grants, financial assistance by associations and non-government organizations, peer to peer networks, and others. Loans are offered to businesses that need technology financing, want to purchase tools and equipment, and need working capital. Canadian credit unions and banks offer expansion and start-up loans with competitive rates, capital payment holidays, long amortization periods, and other beneficial features. Under the Canada Small Business Financing Program, businesses are offered financing to purchase equipment, to make leasehold improvements, and to purchase immovables and real property. Decontamination costs that have to be paid under provincial and federal legislation are eligible as well. Other types of financing in Canada include loans for rural entrepreneurs, financing for persons with disabilities, loan guarantees for capital purchases, financing for Aboriginal entrepreneurs, and many others. Financing is also offered to persons with addiction and mental health problems.

Courses, Certificates, and Programs

Different organizations and universities in Canada offer beekeeping academic programs and courses, including the University of Guelph, Niagara College, HoneyLand Canda. The University of Guelph, features an introductory beekeeping course that covers a number of topics, including pest and disease control, processing and extracting honey, hive management, colony inspections, equipment. The Niagara College offers a commercial beekeeping program and covers topics such as queen rearing, pest management, apiary management, commercial beekeeping, and others. Graduates can choose from different career opportunities and paths, including apiary laborer, seasonal beekeeper, honey production supervisor, apiary technician, and apiary manager, among others. The Honeybee Centre also offer workshops, seminars, and short courses that focus on winter maintenance and wraps, supplemental feeding, pest and disease treatment, and honey storage and extraction. Other topics include honey flow and maintenance, colony assessment for pests and diseases, swarm prevention, feeding, cleaning, overwintered colonies, and many others. HoneyLand Canada features workshops and beekeeping courses that cover topics such as organic beekeeping, crop pollination, hive products and marketing, honeybee nutrition, honey extraction, beehive manipulations, and more. Advanced courses are also available and focus on topics such as queen breeding and selection, hive re-queening, queen rearing, hive splitting, and swarm control. Queen drafting tools are also provided. The Langara College offers an urban beekeeping course to help students manage beehives and bees and benefit from hands-on training and experience. Information about financial support and student loans is avalable here: has detailed information on the subject. and here:

Canadian Honey Council

was founded back in 1940 to help beekeepers across Canada negotiate fair marketing, grading, and labeling practices. Today, the council serves as a forum and meeting point for different industry players, including government officials, provincial associations and organizations, professionals, packers, producers, and others. The council offers information and educational resources such as the Beekeeper’s Handbook and a national magazine. The magazine features updates, regional reports, professional advice, how to videos, and a lot more.

Ontario Beekeeper’s Association

was found back in 1881 and is currently headquartered in Milton, Ontario. Its initiatives, programs, and activities are based on key pillars such as environmental responsibility, science-based research, collaboration, responsiveness, and others. The association engages in advocacy and outreach and offers pollination services. The association maintains strategic partnerships with different non-government organizations, agencies and institutions, including the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Honey Council, University of Guelph, and others. The association also works to eradicate diseases, combat pests, facilitate pollination, and protect honeybees in Canada.


there are some 280,000 colonies in Alberta, 100,000 colonies in Saskatchewan, 97,500 in Ontario, and 73,800 in Manitoba. Ontario and British Columbia have the highest number of beekeepers, 3,150 and 2,323 respectively while New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have the lowest.