In Canada there are an estimated 10,500 beekeepers operating more than 563,000 hives The Prairie provinces account for 80 percent of Canadian honey production. Alberta is the largest honey producing province, producing about 40 percent of Canadian honey. Average honey production in Alberta is 141 pounds per hive annually, twice the world average.
Honeybees have been, and always will be, imported into Canada. This is one of the potential downfalls of depending so heavily on a foreign species. In the early days, bee colonies were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, kept in straw skeps (hives), packed in ice and sawdust for the three weeks of the voyage.
Today’s beekeepers still rely on the importation of honeybees to sustain their colonies. Every spring there is a need for new honeybees to help replace winter losses or to replace an old queen bee. However, there are strict government regulations on honeybee importation due to the possible spread of disease etc. from other countries. The Canadian Honey Council states that there are only three choices for importation of honeybees: a package of bees (2 lb, 3 lb or 4lb size with a caged queen), a nucleus colony of bees from a Canadian producer (3-5 frames with a laying queen), or a new queen to begin a new colony or revitalize a queen-less colony. It is required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that all beekeepers apply for an Import Permit. Packaged bees can only be imported from Australia and New Zealand, and it is only legal to import queen bees from the countries of Australia, New Zealand and USA.
Currently, according to the CHC, Canada produces 70 million pounds of honey annually. Approximately one third of the crop is from Alberta, one third from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, one third from rest of country. One half of all produced honey is exported, mostly to the USA. There are approximately four months for honey production per year, usually from about May to August.
In 2005, the top honey producing country in the world was China, with 298,000 tonnes. Canada came in eleventh with 36,109 tonnes of honey.
“From Various Internet Sites”