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About the Canadian Honey Council

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The Canadian Honey Council (CHC) is the national organization of the beekeeping industry.  It is a not for profit organization, established in 1940 and incorporated in 1950.  

The Canadian Honey Council is the national association of beekeepers representing over 8,000 apiculturists across Canada. The CHC provides a forum where producers, packers, professionals, provincial associations and officials from different levels of government can talk and recommend action in the best interests of the Canadian honey bee industry.


 Support the CHC through sponsorship - contact the office for more information   

Support hive health through Save Our Bees campaign 
Membership requests for organizations wanting to join CHC - contact the office
    New bylaws adopted in 2014  http://www.honeycouncil.ca/images2/pdfs/CHC_Bylaws_2014.pdf

Minutes and Proceedings

AGM Information 

No resolutions passed at the 2015 AGM in Saskatoon.

The 2014-14 Annual General Meeting was in Moncton, New Brunswick.  Over 150 bee-enthusiasts participated in workshops, seminars and meetings.  Particular thanks goes out to Ann Vautour and her team of volunteers for pulling off a very successful event without the co-operation of the weather!

For the Canadian Honey Council it allowed a time for face–to– face discussions on a number of important initiatives including labour, food safety, and bee health.  With regards to bee health the CHC passed a resolution that re-affirmed its existing position, but included the additional request of  supporting the basic principles of the Ontario government’s position paper on bee -" Be it resolved that the CHC make a public statement in support of the basic principles of the November 25, 2014 initiative by the Ontario Government."   This was, and is something that, despite all the rhetoric, the CHC has consistently done from the outset.   As the Canadian Honey Council has stated in the past, bee health can be affected by a number of variables and Ontario has identified four key areas for work.  Those areas are:

                Pollinator habitat and nutrition

                Disease pests and genetics

                Pesticide exposure

                Climate change and weather

From the outset on work on bee health at a national level, the Canadian Honey Council has been concentrating on similar goals and principles. The strategic plan put forward by the National Roundtable on Bee Health documents those similarities and also illustrates that the cooperative nature of the Roundtable can forcefully and effectively identify and put forth national work plans to address those issues.  Certainly, everyone has a different idea on how those goals can be achieved and the Canadian Honey Council clearly supports ways and means to achieve those goals that are science-based and are agreed upon mutually by all members of the agricultural sector.  While the needs and concerns of beekeepers are always the paramount concern, we also recognize that we are part of the bigger picture, and must work together, cooperatively and respectfully to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

The Government of Ontario should be commended for being one of the first provinces to announce their intention in developing a comprehensive plan for bee health.  We encourage them to collaborate with the National Bee Health Roundtable as well as to strive towards a plan that enhances the viability of, and is embraced by, the entire agricultural value chain.  We would also like to commend the work of the Ontario Beekeepers Association for encouraging the province to develop a pollinator strategy.  We look forward to a finalized plan that encourages advances in bee habitat, diseases and pest control, supports genetic research, and helps in the understanding of the effects of weather and climate change on bees. The Canadian Honey Council has an established track record of working with agricultural stakeholders in reducing potential exposures of bees to pesticides.   We reiterate our commitment to working with beekeepers and growers alike to promote the development and adoption of integrated pest management strategies that will help to improve bee health.

Additional resolutions passed at the AGM

In addition to a resolution calling for a public statement supporting the basic principles behind the Ontario government’s discussion paper, the CHC passed the following policy related resolutions:

BE IT RESOLVED: That Canadian Honey Council encourages members to review Manitoba’s “White Paper” document on Package Bee Imports from Northern California, as available on www.manitobabee.org.

BE IT RESOLVED:  That the Canadian Honey Council support reductions of all insecticides, especially those such as neonicotinoids that accumulate in the environment, to levels that are required for sustainable and profitable agricultural production, by the use of IPM. 

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Canadian Honey Council insure that the new grading and labelling regulations which were developed by Canadian Honey Council , Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the honey packers be included in developing the Safe Food for Canadians Act.

BE IT RESOLVED: That the Canadian Honey Council lobby the Canadian Food Inspection Agency around clearing up grade labelling confusion of non- Canadian Honey.

 Resolutions from Galveston AGM  Resolutions 2011 
Resolutions from Orlando AGM  Resolutions 2010
Resolutions from AGM in Niagara Falls 2008  December 2008
Board minutes and proceedings from Orlando Annual Meeting  January 2010

CHC activities report May 2010 CHC What We Do
Directors report to winter meetings 2009Winter Report Feb 2010

New Organization
Summary of process to reorganize CHC  Forging a New Direction


 Promote, support a dynamic and prosperous Canadian honey bee industry 
 Be the definitive unified national voice for the industry
 Act as the instrument for achieving a sustainable Canadian honey bee industry in the global economy


 Communicating news, events and bee industry information through the CHC website.
 Producing a high quality quarterly magazine Hivelights for member organizations.
 Registering oxalic acid with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for use against varroa mites.
 Co-ordinating Emergency Use Registration of needed varroa treatments.
 Promoting awareness of best management practices for honey bees with poster on Integrated Pest Management.
 Developing good production practices manual for the production of honey through Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality Traceability program (CBISQT).
 Co-ordinating the annual Bee research symposium.
 Representing the honey bee industry at the national level in Ottawa.
 Representing the honey bee industry internationally in the USA and Apimondia.
 Promoting the superior quality of 100% Pure Canadian honey.

The Canadian Honey Council annually presents two awards to members of the beekeeping community. The Fred Rathje Memorial Award is presented to a Canadian beekeeper who has demonstrated effective leadership in making a significant contribution to the improvement of beekeeping. This award is in honour of Fred Rathje who was the Canadian Honey Council Secretary from 1975 to 1982, and was well known for his enthusiasm and love of anything pertaining to honey The Willy Baumgartner Memorial Award is bestowed to a member of the beekeeping community who may not be a beekeeper but, has made an outstanding contribution to support Canadian beekeeping. Willy promoted integrated management approaches to beekeeping and his business, Medivet Pharmaceuticals donated tens of thousands of dollars to research – all without any expectations or restrictions. Applicants should provide a complete bio of the nominee by mid-December.

 Speak as the unified, national voice for the industry
 Advise, negotiate with and lobby gov’t and other organizations on behalf of the industry
 Promote 100% Canadian honey and other hive products at home and abroad
 Provide services to members  (through their organizations) and to other industry stakeholders
 Act as an education & information resource for the general public


 Organizations that support the principles & purposes of the national organization may be eligible for full (voting) membership 
(National  organizations with a vested interest in honey bees, in addition to the existing provincial beekeeper organizations, are eligible for membership in the Canadian Honey Council.  For more information get in touch with the CHC office for an application form.  Applications are subject to review by the CHC Membership Committee.  Applications that meet established criteria are then considered for approval by the Board.)


 Each voting member organization in good standing appoints a Director to the national Board 
 Each provincial/regional (i.e. “geographic”) voting member organization is eligible to appoint one additional Director to the national Board when the number of hives in its geographic area exceeds 150,000.


The Annual General Meeting is for Directors only. Participation for individuals who are members of member organizations will include:
 Symposia and other educational/training events
 Discussion of issues and proposed resolutions to the AGM at provincial & other association meetings
 Committees and working groups
 Stakeholder discussions to address national issues

Canadian Bee Research Fund

The Canadian Bee Research Fund (CBRF) was established to counteract the problems caused by severe reductions in federal and provincial funding for honey bee research. It is a joint project of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists and the Canadian Honey Council. The Board of Directors is comprised of four members, two from CAPA and two from CHC. The Canadian Honey Council takes direction from the CBRF board of directors and administers the fund as required.

The CBRF has been set up as a long-term endowment fund. Interest generated by the CBRF is made available for annual grants. Beekeepers direct the type of research that they want to support. The CBRF is entirely supported by donations from the apiculture industry and is a unique partnership between CAPA researchers and CHC members.

Projects and Grant Money Disbursed

Apply for Funding