Canadian Honey Council Statement


Canadian Honey Council ♦ Conseil Canadien du Miel #218, 51519, RR 220 Sherwood Park, Alberta T8E 1H1

February 2023

It is indeed unfortunate that the American Beekeepers Federation, the American Honey Producers Association and those Canadian operators having an interest in importing American packaged bees are attempting to capitalize on the fear of introducing tropilaelaps mites.

The Canadian Honey Council would much have preferred if the ABF and the AHPA had first contacted the CHC for information regarding status, demand, and possible rationale for border opening. The CHC would have appreciated nothing more than to add to a substantive history of working together in a mutually beneficial manner. As it is, the CHC feels it necessary to clarify some issues concerning Canada’s permitted importation of package bees, particularly from Australia as well as the threat of the introduction of tropilaelaps mites. With respect, the two issues should have been dealt with separately, but they have unfortunately been intertwined.

The CHC represents every provincial beekeeping organization in Canada and as such, speaks for all beekeepers. The package issue in Canada is divisive, but it is important to note that the interest group calling for the opening of the US border does not represent all commercial operations nor is it even clear they represent a majority of commercial operations. They do, however represent a substantial number of colonies in certain regions of the country and we continue to listen to those from all points of view.

The CHC and the ABF have had a good working relationship. More recently, we have expanded our relationship building to work closer with the American Honey Producers Association. While honey sales, adulterated honey and trans-shipped honey has been a primary concern, stock issues, particularly related to queen sales has also been important. Working with California queen producers, the Canadian Honey Council was able to ease some of their reporting burdens and when “Africanized bees” were found in the quarantine zone, we were quickly able to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency based on science and agreed to developed strategies to mitigate the issue. Consequently, imports were resumed in a timely manner.

Last year, Canadian beekeepers from most areas in the country experienced devastating losses and the demand to stock increased dramatically. Calls to open the border to US packages intensified, firstly focusing on receiving packages from the northern California quarantine zone, then expanding to Georgia and now the mainland US. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency put out an open call for additional research to see if there were any changes to the risks that had been identified in a 2013 risk assessment of US packages. Four risks were identified in 2013

  • amitraz resistant mites, • small hive beetle, • AFB resistance • Africanized bees.

The CHC has indicated that if the science supports the decision to open the border, the border should open. However, it is not up to beekeepers or associations to determine if the science is sound, it is up to the experts at CFIA that evaluate the honey bee health status in Canada and the potential bee exporting country. For example,…..

To Read the Complete Document go to

Links from the CHC:

Canadian-Honey-Council-Statement-on-Importation-of-bees-tropilaelapes-Feb-2023.pdf (

Canadian Honey Council – Serving Beekeepers since 1940

News – Canadian Honey Council

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published