COVID-19 response: Information for beekeepers

We are working with other government and industry stakeholders to provide solutions to transportation issues with importing packaged bees.



For more information about Alberta’s COVID-19 response, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

As of December 1, 2018, antibiotic treatments will require a prescription from a licensed veterinarian. To ensure a smooth transition, start building a vet-client-patient relationship as soon as possible and ensure you are familiar with the symptoms of American and European Foulbrood Disease. For more information, contact us.


Alberta has the largest beekeeping industry in Canada. In Alberta there are over 315,000 bee colonies, representing over 40% of Canada’s honey bees. This industry is served by the provincial apiculture program within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

This program is focused on safe-guarding the industry:

  • through the implementation of science-based regulations
  • by carrying out applied and innovative research on honey bees and other pollinators
  • by providing information, advice and other outreach services to help beekeepers in Alberta

Thus, we ensure the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the beekeeping industry as well as associated agriculture systems.


Any person keeping honey bees or beekeeping equipment is required to register by law. For more information on new registration or renewal of registration, see Beekeeping registration.

Inspection and permit requirements

Beekeepers planning to move bees into Alberta are required to submit a permit request form along with an inspection report from the exporting province at least 2 weeks prior to the desired transport date.

No honey bee colonies or nuclei are allowed from Ontario at this time. Only queens are allowed with a permit.

Please see Apiculture – Regulation for more information on inspection requirements and permit requirements.


The goal of the Alberta apiculture research program is to ensure the continued health of bees and sustainable pollination services in Alberta. We have 2 apiculture research sites:

  • Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, (Lethbridge)
  • Crop Diversification Centre North (Edmonton)

We conduct research on:

  • integrated pest management for bee parasites and pathogens
  • development of pest control options for apiculture
  • impacts of pesticides on bees
  • quality and safety of honey
  • honey bee management and nutrition
  • hive products
  • honey bee breeding and selection
  • crop pollination, particularly canola
  • the behaviour and management of commercially operated bees