Canada is world’s 6th largest the Canadian honeybee colonies produce up to 80 million pounds of honey every year worth over $173 million. There are 10,344 beekeepers in Canada (up from 8,615 in 2015) that oversee over 750,000 colonies. The prairie provinces lead the way as the top honey producers accounting for 80% of the country’s production even though they have the shortest season, May through August.
Bees are great for more than just honey. Every year they serve double-duty and help pollinate crops such as canola, blueberries and apples across Canada. Their pollination work is valued at over $2 billion annually in Canada.
The country as a whole is buzzing with local honey farms that pump out some of the purest honey consumers can ask for. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all honey sold in Canada.
According to a study published by Scientific Reports in 2018, honey is the world’s 3rd most adulterated food. In 2019, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s honey authenticity report found that 22% of samples collected from a variety of establishments including importers, blenders, graders and processors were adulterated – mixed with other, cheaper substances such as corn syrup, rice, beet and other sugars which is against the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Food and Drugs Act.
It is important to note that none of the Canadian honey samples were tainted, only those imported from a number of countries including Greece, China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam.
Dr. Peter Awram of Worker Bee Honey Company (listed below) uses one of only 12 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) machines in the world to scan each sample’s entire organic chemical spectrum to detect fraudulent sweeteners. Each “fingerprint” is then stored in a database of samples from around the world.
“We’d eventually like to see it lead to a certification scheme, where producers submit their honey for testing and get a label, it would give security to the people buying it.”Dr. Peter Awram (source)
The hope is to convince local and international buyers that pure Canadian honey is worth the premium price.
Here are our picks for the top Canadian honey brands:
1. BCB Honey Farm
Known for their cold extraction method that allows the honey to keep all the good stuff like vitamins and antioxidants, BCB Honey Farm has a rather extensive honey operation on Canada’s west coast. The team has dedicated their operations to one common goal, help revive the bee population in British Columbia. At peak times, this farm can house up to 60 million bees. Talk about creating some buzz!
- Where: 4121 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC and 1610 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
- Available at: website, drive-thru store in Surrey
2. Arlo’s Honey Farm
This is a popular destination in the Okanagan drawing visitors from all over the world. Not only is their honey a true reflection of what honey should be, they also produce some amazing soaps, candles, skin care products, and even fruits and veggies. The Arlo motto is simple; “Our honey is pure and natural, unpasteurized and unfiltered as nature intended.”
- Where: 2290 Saucier Road, Kelowna, BC
- Other products: skin care, soap, candles, fruits, vegetables, honey grain mustard
- Available at: website, retail shop May 15th to September 15th
3. Planet Bee Honey Farm
Step out of the real world and enter into Planet Bee Honey Farm. From their educational tours to all natural health and beauty products to tasty mead, this family owned and operated farm has tons to offer.
- Headquartered In: 5011 Bella Vista Road, Vernon, BC
- Other products: health & wellness products, candles, mead, beauty products
- Available at: website, farm store
4. Worker Bee Honey Company
With over 6,000 beehives, British Columbia’s largest beekeeping operation sells bulk honey in several blossom varieties including blueberries (tangy and fruity), raspberry, blackberry, clover and raw honey.
Their honey is sold in bulk to other companies. The team is super passionate about their products and stand behind their guarantee of producing 100% Canadian honey. They also operate the only scientific laboratory in North America devoted to purity testing and cataloging of worldwide honey samples.
- Where: Rosedale, BC
- Other products: bulk honey, beeswax, beeswax crumbles
- Available at: in bulk or from select brands
5. Chinook Honey Company
Chinook Honey Company calls Okotoks home and the bees are always busy! This efficient operation produces not only great honey and candles, but they also have some popular beeswax food wraps available to keep your grub better for longer. There is even a membership available for those who like to indulge in their delectable mead.
- Where: 386079 16th Street W, Okotoks, AB
- Other products: beeswax, candles, seeds, mead, candy, food wraps, merchandise
- Available at: website, country store March 23rd to December 31st, and mead is available at select Alberta liquor stores
6. Three Foragers Bee Co.
Three Foragers Bee Co. takes their honey process very seriously and believes in producing nothing but raw, pure, unblended, and unpasteurized products. The team of 3 generations of beekeepers does everything from the beekeeping to the harvesting to the packaging. If you are planning a wedding, consider browsing their wedding favour brochure!
- Where: Saskatoon, SK
- Other products: caramels, candles
- Available at: website, natural and health food stores across Canada
7. Moyen Honey Farms
Moyen Honey Farms has been family owned and operated since 1964 and prides themselves on producing 100% pure Canadian honey to share with the world. Their bees produce honey foraged from Canola, Alfalfa, Clover, Borage and a variety of wildflowers. This crew focuses on the one thing they do exceptionally well and that’s honey!
- Where: Zenon Park, SK
- Availability: website
8. Sweet Pure Honey
Sweet Pure Honey is taking the honey industry by storm with their innovative products like lip tints, stain removal sticks, honey salves and cinnaspread – a combination of raw honey, coconut oil, and cinnamon fantastic in tea, plain yogurt, drizzled on hot oatmeal with blueberries, or on toast.
The healthy fields and wildflowers surrounding the farm is what gives this honey such a wonderful taste. Stella Sehn and her partner Sheldon Hill are a perfect pair taking Sweet Pure Honey to the next level. Their skills complement each other well and contribute to the great reputation of the company.
- Where: Porcupine Plain, SK
- Other products: cinnaspread, beeswax & wraps, candles, face & body products
- Available at: website
9. Fresh Roots Farm
Fresh Roots Farm couldn’t be a more fitting name for this operation. The team boasts about the benefits of raw honey and that is exactly what they produce. The locations for the bees to forage is carefully selected to ensure the product is top quality and tasty to your palette. Honey isn’t the only thing they do though, you can find quinoa based products, rolled naked oats, and grass fed lamb and beef on this farm as well.
- Where: Cartwright, MB
- Other products: grass fed lamb and beef, rolled oats, quinoa
- Available at: website, select retail locations in Manitoba
Without a doubt, Beemaid is likely the most well known Canadian brand of honey. Owned and operated by Canadian beekeepers, there is a reason this product has a Canadian flag on it’s packaging. Everyone recognizes that little honey bear bottle, that’s Beemaid! You can find their honey across the country in major retailers like Costco, Save-On Foods, Co-Op, Walmart, Safeway, and Superstore.
- Where: Winnipeg, MB
- Other products: beekeeping supplies, health & beauty products
- Available at: website, numerous retailers across Canada
Clovermead is a family business that is rich in honey history. They are currently three generations deep with the fourth on deck. Located in Aylmer, Ontario, Clovermead has an amazing adventure farm on the property. There are more than 50 attractions for the little ones to enjoy and don’t forget to stop in the honey gift shop!
- Where: 11302 Imperial Road, Aylmer, ON
- Other products: meat, preserves, butter, jellies & jams, candles, beeswax
- Available at: website, gift shop open March 1st to December 24th
12. Meadowlily Farm & Bee Rescue
Meadowlily Farm doesn’t just produce honey, they are also a bee rescue. Ontario Bee Rescue is a collective of more than 100 caring beekeepers dedicated to saving the honeybees from being destroyed by exterminators and pest control companies by assisting in the rescue of honey bee swarms.
Bruce Richardson & Joanne Crockett are dedicated to advocating for bees, ducks and sharing their love of nature and homesteading with people all over the world. Not only do they offer delicious honey, they also offer beginner and intermediate beekeeping classes if it sounds like a hobby or business you’re interested in!
- Where: London, ON
- Other products: candles, beeswax, candles, jewelry
- Available at: website
13. Quinn Farm
Quinn Farm is a one-stop shop for most visitors. They offer everything from fruits and veggies to baked goods to cleaning products and of course, honey! The farm began in 1982 and has been family owned and operated ever since.
- Where: 2495 Boul Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-I’Ile-Perrot, QC
- Other products: fruits and veggies, baked goods, oils, cleaning products, body products
- Available at: website, farm store open March to December 24th
While this list is far from comprehensive, the honey farms throughout our beautiful country advocate for the hardworking honey bees and produce some of the best and purest honey. We encourage you to explore your own community for local honey producers and to support the production of 100% pure Canadian made honey.
To close, let’s leave you with a quote from who is probably the most famous honey connoisseur worldwide:
“If everything is honey
And I am what I eat
I must be made of honey
And life is very sweet.”
~Winnie the Pooh