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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.  It is also 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 three commercial operators and approximately fifty independent beekeepers.  The situation here is unique as the province is the last place on earth that has not been affected by bee diseases and mites with associated colony collapse.  This is a result of a ban on honeybee imports that has been in place for more than ten years.  Moreover, the level of agricultural operations using toxic pesticides is minimal.  As a result, the beekeepers of the province can manage their colonies without using chemical treatments.  In addition, our bees enjoy healthy immune systems.

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

There are at least 75 different species of native bees, including bumblebees, in Newfoundland and Labrador.  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 honeybee well adapted to our northern climate. This has attracted national and international interest and requests for bee exports.

You can help our native and honey bees by supporting the ban on bee imports, avoid use of harmful pesticides, and support bee habitat and our local beekeepers.

A unique Newfoundland honeybee 

The genetic composition of our currently small population of honeybees on the Island of Newfoundland 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 honeybees 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, poast-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).