Message from the Provincial Apiarist re: bee imports & exports

Dear Beekeeper, 

Please be aware of the following items related to the export and import of honey bee colonies to the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. 

Receiving provinces require inspections of all apiaries containing honey bee colonies destined for export.   Signed inspection reports must be provided by appointed Ontario Apiary Inspectors. 

The specific import requirements for each province are included in this package in addition to a summary.  This summary is not intended to replace the detailed requirements outlined by each province.  Each province has specific requirements related to the import permits, registration, and specific transportation protocols.   Please consult with the guidelines listed by each province.  

These summaries are only meant as a rough guideline and are not final.  Please consult with the Provincial Apiarist and the local Apiary Inspectors on the detailed requirements.   

Most eastern provinces require a minimum 10% of colonies to have the brood nest inspected for American Foulbrood and Small Hive Beetle, plus an additional 15% of top bar inspections for Small Hive Beetles. 

We are encouraging beekeepers to have colonies inspected before they go into larger holding yards.  If there is a pest or disease issue found in a smaller yard it creates less complications than if found in a larger holding yard.   

Beekeepers must also apply for an Import Permit through the Ontario Apiary Program if they are intending to transport colonies outside Ontario and return the colonies at a later date.  This permit is distinct from what is required by the receiving province. The import application is included in this package.  

Please let me know if you have any questions. 


Paul Kozak

Provincial Apiarist

Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs

Foods of Plant Origin

Food Inspection Branch

1 Stone Road West, 5th Floor NW

Guelph ON N1G 4Y2

Tel:  519 826-3595 or 1-888-466-2372 Ext. 63595 

Fax:  519 826-4375