Importation of bee packages from the U.S.

Update September 26, 2017

The Board of Directors of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, recognizing the risks of importation of honey bees from the continental U.S., recently passed the following resolution: 

Whereas: Opening the border to the importation of honey bees from mainland U.S creates health risks for the Canadian bee population, including the risks created by Africanized honey bees, antibiotic-resistant American foulbrood and Amitraz-resistant varroa mite; and 

Whereas: Three western Canadian beekeepers have filed a class action lawsuit against the Government of Canada for damages caused as a result of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (“CFIA”) ban on the importation of bees into Canada, and have included all Canadian commercial beekeepers in this action unless they choose to opt out; 

Therefore: the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association supports CFIA’s prohibition of honey bee hives and/or nucleus colonies and/or package bee imports from mainland United States, and strongly urges qualified beekeepers to Opt Out of this class action. 

The health of Ontario beekeeping demands action to keep the border closed. 

Update November 4, 2013:

CFIA has released its consultation report, "Risk Assessment on the Importation of Honey Bee (apis mellifera) Packages from the United States of America which concludes: Conclusions of the current risk assessment are similar to the previous scientific evaluation conducted in 2003; there is still a high probability of introducing diseases and pests into Canada due to importation of honey bees from the continental United States. The risk assessment does not provide new scientific evidence to remove or decrease the current import control measures in place, thus allowing only the importation of honey bee queens from the United States." Read the full report here.

The Ontario Beekeepers' Association supports this recommendation and encourages all interested parties to support this ruling through the consultation process. The email address for comments is:  For further information

April 30, 2013

The OBA has been supportive of the Government of Canada's commitment to the well-being of Canada's bees by not allowing the importantion of U.S. package bees into Canada. Recently, some provinces have requested that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-food revisit this decision to allow packages to be imported at least in the short term. You can read our letter opposing this recommendation to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food here. And his response is here.