This page highlights some of the many resources we frequent for information, bees, supplies and support. It’s not an endorsement of any one company or contributor and it isn’t exhaustive. If you have a site you think is worthy of listing, let us know. We’ll update and add as we go along. Some of these links are to .pdf documents that require the (free) Adobe Reader.
British Columbia Resources
- B.C. Honey Producers Association – B.C.’s Representative Beekeeping Association
- B.C. Bee Breeders Association – B.C. breeders & suppliers of queens and nucleus colonies
- List of B.C. Bee Clubs – With Map
- B.C. Certified Beekeeping Instructors – Take a beekeeping course from a recognized instructor
- B.C. Pollinators List – a list of beekeepers offering pollination services
- Boone Hodgson Wilkinson Trust Fund – Funding research in B.C.
- Richmond Beekeepers Association – Metro Vancouver club
- Feed The Bees – Promoting bee-friendly gardening and living.
- Bee-friendly plants guide for B.C. – Feed The Bees (.pdf)
Local B.C. Bylaws & Regulations
UPDATED December 2019 with new links
In British Columbia, anyone keeping bees must be registered with the provincial government. This isn’t a case of Big Brother wanting to spy on you but rather for sensible animal health reasons. Registration allows B.C.’s Apiculture Division keep in touch with you in case of outbreaks of diseases or quarantines, such as the recent small hive beetle scare. Here’s the link to the online registration form.
Registering your hives is also a requirement of all municipalities that allow the keeping of bees. I’ve also found keeping my hives registered with the province very quickly unscrambles complaints when someone complains; we once had a neighbour who insisted to the city that our bees were a problem, only for us all to discover she was being bothered by flying European Chafer Beetles!
Progressive municipalities either specifically permit the keeping of bees in certain urban settings or often turn a blind eye in the absence of a specific bylaw. Very few municipalities now have an outright ban on beekeeping, but there are still a few dinosaurs around. It usually takes a dedicated and patient beekeeper to help those governments see the error of their way. The New Westminster Bee Bylaw is one that was developed by John Gibeau of the Honey Bee Centre and has been used as something of a successful template for other B.C. municipalities.
Many municipalities do regulate the conditions under which you can keep bees, such as how many hives you can have, how far they have to be from your neighbour’s property, and what you are to do when you have swarms.
Here’s an incomplete list of B.C. municipalities and regional districts and where they fall on the issue of keeping bees. If your municipality is either not listed or doesn’t have a specific bee bylaw, you should call your city clerk or zoning department for more information.
- B.C.’s Bee Regulation (NEW – part of Animal Health Act)
- Coquitlam – As of 2017 still restricted to Agricultural A-3 and R-2 residential zones
- Delta The website is balky: Look for Bylaw 6804
- Kamloops It is also a “Bee City”. Also, see this EXCELLENT Kamloops Beekeepers handout.
- Langley City – no specific regulation listed
- Langley Township – Amended in 2015. See Section 100
- Maple Ridge
- New Westminster
- North Vancouver City
- North Vancouver District
- Oak Bay
- Pitt Meadows
- Port Coquitlam
- Port Moody
- Vancouver Island’s Capital Region – compiled by Capital Region Beekeepers Association!
- White Rock – It says it has Bee Keeping Bylaw, 1992, No. 1313, but is not online.
- Fraser Valley Regional District – silent on bees other than as a permitted farm use.
- Metro Vancouver Regional District – municipal bylaws (see above) cover most areas
- Regional District of Central Kootenay – in development as of 2019
- Regional District of East Kootenay – testing the waters as of 2016
- Regional District of Kootenay – Boundary – Unclear as of 2019
- Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen – Some progress!
- Canadian Honey Producers – the national organization representing Canadian beekeepers
- Alberta Beekeepers Commission
- Alberta Honey Producers (BeeMaid)
- Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission
- Manitoba Beekeepers Association
- Ontario Beekeepers Association
- Ontario Beekeepers’ useful Tech Transfer site
- Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA)
- CAPA’s – A Guide To Managing Bees For Crop Pollination
- Proceedings of Apimondia Montreal Conference 2019 – Now finished, this archive contains the proceedings of the 2019 World conference held in Montreal, with many Canadian beekeeping elements
Provincial & Federal Government Sites
- B.C. Ministry of Agriculture’s comprehensive Apiculture Division – start here!
- B.C. Ministry of Agriculture – Staff list of bee inspectors
- B.C. Apiculture Division’s extensive list of helpful bulletins
- B.C.’s Preparing a Business Plan for Beekeeping – One of the best we’ve ever seen!
- BC’s Sample Crop Pollination Contract (PDF)
- B.C. Government’ One-Stop business registry for registering your business, partnership, etc.
- Alberta Apiculture home page
- Manitoba Apiculture home page
- Ontario Apiculture home page
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency – Bee products (Part of the Guidance Document Repository)
- Safe Food For Canadians Act – Food-Specific Requirements And Guidance – HONEY – Canadian Food Inspection Agency – NEW! (Supercedes old CFIA Honey Regs)
- Labelling Requirements For Honey Products (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)
- Pesticide Incident Reporting – Heath Canada
- Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)
- Pesticide Registrations in Canada (searchable)
- Working Residue Levels in Honey (CFIA) (Archived, but useful for research purposes)
Education, Blogs, Research
- BeeSource – THE source for beekeeping information. Register for their helpful forums.
- A Canadian Beekeepers’ Blog – Spectacular Youtue channel by Ian Steppler, commercial beekeeper
- Michael Palmer’s videos – courtesy of Two Little Ladies Apiary
- Michael Bush’s Bush Bees
- Leonard Foster’s extensive work on bee genomics through UBC’s Michael Smith Lab
- Randy Oliver’s Scientific Beekeeping A NO-BS, throughly scientific approach to beekeeping!
- Larry Connor’s Wicwas Press – An extensive list of books. He also has links to extensive articles
- Kirk Webster – Treatment-free beekeeping Somewhat dated, somewhat controversial
- Tom Glenn’s simple but useful resources on queen-rearing, honey bee genetics and bee breeding
- United Nation’s FAO Value-Added Products From Beekeeping
- Beekeeping Business Plan Workbook – Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research’s business plan
Beekeeping Software & Programs
- Beetight – great hive tracking program for iPhone, Android
- Broodminder – an efficient, low-cost wifi monitoring system. We use this!
- Hivetracks – Another good beekeeping software service
- All About Bees – A Collection of Melittology Resources (Thanks to Alyson Rothburg for the find!)
- Beekeeping Safety Resources – A Collection of links (Thanks to Alyson Rothburg for the find!)
Bees, Packages, Nucs
- Bee Natural Apiaries – Scott Gordon’s great local – queens, nucs
- BeeMaid (Alberta Honey Producers Coop) Packages, queens, equipment
- Bartel Honey Farms – New Zealand packages to Canada
- Delta Honey Farms – Steve Bayley & Mike Munro. Facebook page. Supplies California queens
- Flying Dutchman – Stan & Cheryl Reist. Imports NZ, Aussie packages & queens, sells nucs
- Golden Ears Apiaries – Jean Marc Le Dorze (no link) nucs, bees
- Kona Queens Hawaii Inc – A phenomenal Hawaii queen-breeding operation
- Olivarez Honey Bees – the other major exporter of Hawaiian/Californian bees to B.C.
- B.C. Bee Supply – Winston & Ninna Wong. Major B.C. supplier based in Burnaby.
- Two Bees Apiary – Lianne & Trevor Shyry – Suppliers, North Shore of Metro Vancouver
- Honey Bee Centre – B.C. education services and supplies
- Urban Bee Supplies – Owned by West Coast Seeds – local equipment
- West Coast Bee Supplies – Local equipment, bees
- BeeMaid Extensive Canadian supply house owned by the Alberta Honey Producers
- Propolis-Etc. Extensive Canadian supply house based in Quebec, access to many suppliers
- Richards Packaging (Vancouver) – glassware, bottles
- Kelley Bees – equipment suppliers in the U.S. owned by Mann Lake Ltd.
- Dadant – The Granddaddy of U.S. beekeeping equipment suppliers
- Dominion & Grimm – Quebec-based supplier of fine glassware, bottles
- Mann Lake Ltd. – comprehensive U.S. bee supply house
- NOD Global Apiary products – Formic Pro strips (formic acid) – Very effective!
Other Research & Associations
- American Beekeeping Federation
- Prject Apis m. – Phenomenal supporter, site for honey bee research in Canada and US
- Apimondia – International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations
- Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis
- UC Davis Honey and Pollination Centre – the food/mead side of UC Davis’ honey bee research
- International Bee Research Association (IBRA)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
- USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics Research, Baton Rouge, LA
- Washington State Beekeepers Association
- List of local Washington State beekeeping associations
- Washington State Department of Agriculture Apiculture Program
A Highly Selective Reading List
This is by no means an exhaustive or complete list of books on beekeeping and business. In fact, it represents only a tiny fraction of those available. We say, to each their own tastes. However, these books we’ve found are ones we turn to most frequently for answers to a) questions we find ourselves asking and b) questions we should have asked before facing that next question “why did that go wrong?”
- Beekeeping in Western Canada, John Gruszka (editor), Alberta Agriculture, 1998, ISBN 0-7732-6139-7 (Older, but still useful: the only text on keeping bees in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, tuned to Canadian beekeeping issues.)
- Honey Bee Diseases and Pests, 3rd Edition, Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, ISBN-13: 978-0969333616 A must-have. Buy directly from capabees.com
- The Hive and the Honeybee, Dadant and Sons Inc., Hamilton, Illinois 62341
- The ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture: An Encyclopedia Pertaining to the Scientific and Practical Culture of Honey Bees (massively reprinted), A.I. Root, Ann Harman, Hachiro Shimanuki, Kim Flottum, A.I. Root Co., 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0936028224
- Bee Time, Lessons from the Hive, Mark L. Winston, Harvard University Press. 2014, ISBN-13: 978-0674368392 Governor-General’s Award, an exquisite must-read!
- The Biology of the Honey Bee, Mark. L. Winston. Harvard University Press. 1991, ISBN-13: 978-0674074095
- A History of Beekeeping in British Columbia – From 1950 to 2000, Douglas M. McCutcheon, B.C. Honey Producers Association, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9877928-0-8
- One Hundred Years of Beekeeping in British Columbia – 1858-1958, W.H. Turnbull, 1958, Self-published.
- Bee-sentials, A Field Guide, Lawrence John Connors & Robert Muir, Wicwas Press, 2012, ISBN 978-1-878075-28-4
- The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook, Kim Flottum, Crestline Books, 2012 ISBN-13: 978-0785829171
- The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping, Roger A. Morse, Countryman Press; 2014, ISBN-13: 978-0881503159
- Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition, Dewey M. Caron & Lawrence John Connor, Wicwas Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-878075-29-1
- Some Important Operations in Bee Management, T.S.K & M.P. Johansson, International Bee Research Association, 1976, ISBN 0-86098-029-4 (Useful chapter bibliographies)
- Langstroth’s Hive and the Honey-Bee (revised), L.L. Langstroth, Dover, 2004, ISBN 978-0-486-43384-4 (That necessary bible)
- The Dancing Bees, An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee, Karl von Frisch, Harcourt Brace, 1953 (Now, how’d they do that?)
- Honeybee Democracy, Thomas D. Seeley, Princeton University Press, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0691147215 (A brilliant follow on von Frisch’s discovery)
- Queen Rearing Simplified, Jay Smith, X-Star, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-1614760528 (Good old-fashioned advice)
- Better Queens, Jay Smith, X-Star, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-1614760511 (An improvement on that advice.)
- Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding, Harry H. Laidlaw, Wicwas Press, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-1878075086 (For the technician)