Honey Production, Value and Colonies

Detailed information for 2007





Record number:


The purpose of this annual survey is to collect information on the production and value of honey produced in Canada. The results are publicly released and are used by producer associations, apiarists and governments to assess the economic health of the honey production industry.

Data release - November 23, 2007


This survey collects data for an annual estimate of the production of honey in Canada. The data are used by government departments and producers' organizations for policy evaluation and implementation and for program administration.

Reference period: Crop year


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Crops and horticulture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all commercial beekeeping operations in Canada.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was developed by subject matter specialists through consultation with the provinces and industry experts. New questions are not pre-tested in the field. However, testing is conducted in-house for flow and consistency. Questions will be changed, added or removed as the need arises. Required changes are usually identified through such means as subject matter specialist research, changes in market trends and field staff debriefing reports.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

The survey is a census for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. In these two provinces a mail-out /mail-back methodology is used whereby questionnaires are sent out by Statistics Canada to all known honey producers. There is no sampling in the other provinces. Instead of a survey, administrative data is collected for the other seven provinces. Newfoundland and Labrador is excluded since the province has no honey production to report.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2007-08-02 to 2007-09-14

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island through a mailed survey questionnaire in the fall of each year. The micro data is returned to Statistics Canada for manual editing and compilation. Similarly, aggregate data from the other provinces (excluding Newfoundland and Labrador) is extracted from administrative files and edited for consistency and completeness. Significant data inconsistencies are followed-up and verified by telephone. All data are edited and totals are compiled for all categories on the questionnaire.

Prior to the 1999 crop year, Statistics Canada compiled data on Honey and other Apiary Product Farms through a combination of survey taking and administrative sources of data. Estimates disseminated for the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were based on a probability sample survey of beekeeping operations in those provinces. Provincial departments of agriculture in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia carried out their own surveys to independently estimate all honey variables disseminated in the annual bulletin. Beginning with the 1999 crop year, the provinces of Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were added to the list of provinces for which data was compiled solely from provincially administered survey vehicles. While these surveys cover the same subject matter as the Statistics Canada survey, each province customizes its own questionnaire to request supplementary data on topics relevant to its apiculture industry.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Current year preliminary survey data compiled from mail-in questionnaires and administrative data are verified with each provincial apiarist before being disseminated. As part of the confirmation process, in order to minimize errors and ensure the estimates are up-to-date, accurate and reliable, the previous year's data is re-collected and revised if required.


Data are imputed only for those honey producers who do not respond and whose continuing existence in the honey industry can be verified. For such cases, the data are obtained from the previous year's questionnaire. Significant variations are identified, analysed and corrected.


For New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, strata are defined by the number of hives per operation and are generated by use of the previous year's data prior to collection. In cases of no response where previous data is not available for imputation, the stratum weight is applied in order to generate the estimates for those strata with missing data which cannot be imputed.

Quality evaluation

Honey statistics are collected by survey for two provinces, and administrative data for eight provinces . The results are evaluated through comparisons to previous estimates and other sources when available. Market and conditions for honey production are used as a guide when evaluating the data.

The data undergo a validation process, based on subject matter analysis and consultation with provincial statisticians, before a final estimate is published.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Disseminated data are subject to a certain degree of error such as incorrect information from respondents or mistakes introduced during processing. Reasonable efforts are made to ensure such errors are kept within acceptable limits through careful questionnaire design, editing of data for inconsistencies and subsequent follow-up and quality control of manual processing operations.

The Honey Survey in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island obtains a response rate of approximately 20% of respondents, accounting for about 50% of honey production in these provinces as a result of a low response rate using a mail-out /mail-back methodology. Any anomalies or inconsistencies detected with survey and administrative data are verified with the source, and where necessary, adjustments are made.

This administrative data is considered to be the best source available, and data received from each province, excluding Newfoundland and Labrador, is judged to be of very good quality, even in those circumstances where adjustments have been made.

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