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Please do not import honey bees, used equipment, pollen, beeswax, etc.!!!!! It is illegal to import bees or used equipment without a permit from the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. Please - let's work together to keep the province free of varroa and other pests, pathogens, and diseases that are wreaking havoc elsewhere in North America.

  

Honey bee colony registration form (click here). PLEASE register your honey bee colonies/hives with the NL provincial apiarist! Registration is an important management tool that helps us all monitor, prevent and fight the spread of pathogens, pests and diseases.  It would help us MOVE RAPIDLY to try to stop the spread of Varroa should it ever arrive here.  Moreover, it's a good way to generate accurate statistics regarding the number of beekeepers and colonies in the province.  Also, by clearly identifying yourself as a beekeeper in your area, you eliminate the risk of being suspected of illegally importing your honey bees.

 

Our story, in a nutshell

Beekeeping in Newfoundland and Labrador was established in the late 1970s, and today, there are more than 100 beekeepers (one in central Labrador) including 10 commercial operators in the province.  The situation here is unique as the province is one of the last places in the World that remains free of varroa mites. Moreover, we are also free of small hive beetle, wax moth, tracheal mite, and apparently American foulbrood, as well as several viruses associated with Varroa.  This is due largely to government restrictions on the importation of honey bees and used beekeeping equipment that have been in place since 1985.  As a result, the beekeepers of the province can manage their colonies without using chemical treatments.

The bees forage on Newfoundland and Labrador’s rugged natural terrain to create truly unique and organic varietals of honey.

There are at least 80 different species of native bees in the province, including bumble bees.  Many of these bees nest in loose ground on south facing slopes.  They have been demonstrated to be the primary source of pollination of our blueberry and cranberry crops.  

We have a uniquely gentle breed of honey bee well adapted to our northern climate.

You can help our native and honey bees by supporting restrictions on bee imports, BY NOT ILLEGALLY IMPORTING BEES, avoiding use of harmful pesticides, and supporting bee habitat as well as our local beekeepers.

A unique Newfoundland honey bee 

The genetic composition of our honey bees in Newfoundland and Labrador is largely the creation of Wally Skinner, Andrea Skinner, and Paige Marchant (Newfoundland Bee Company) who have been supplying nucleus colonies and Queens to beekeepers across the Island for many years.  Our honey bees are largely Italian (Cordovan), with some Carniolan (Kona Queen), Russian and Buckfast mixed in.

"Subject to correction from the Newfoundland Bee Company breeders, I have observed the following traits in their Newfoundland bee line since 2009.  And what a beautiful bee they have created.  First: a very gentle bee. When you open the hive on a hot day they just stroll around.  No agitation, no guard bees lining up and looking at you.  Nada. Second: gradual spring builders;  fine for our gradual spring climate, but explosive breeders when the weather gets right (I think that is the Russian). Third:  some colonies kick out the drones on the first cool night in September while others do it three or four weeks later (Must be the Carniolan coming out).  Fourth:  I regularly come out into spring with an excess of honey stores before the big breeding cycle comes on (Perhaps a bit of Russian?).  Whatever you may conclude, this is what we have and it is Great!  We have Wally Skinner and his successors Andrea and Paige to thank.  We are very fortunate!" - Dr. Dan [Price] the Bee Man, past-president, NLBKA

For more information on the history of beekeeping in Newfoundland and Labrador, see Barry Hicks. 2014. "The History and Present Status of Honey Bee Keeping in Newfoundland and Labrador."  The Osprey. 45(3):11-14.  Click here to read a pdf version of the paper (with permission of Nature Newfoundland and Labrador).