Ontario Honeybee Queen, Nucleus and Colony Producers

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Queen and Nuc Producers
  3. Ontario Bee Breeders Association
  4. Breeding and Raising Queens
  5. Queens
  6. List of Ontario Queen and Nuc Producers


The following is the list of the beekeepers in Ontario with special permits to sell queens, nucleus hives (nucs) or full sized colonies. Many sell directly to beekeepers, while some sell to bee supply companies. Each has a valid selling permit for this purpose. For more details, contact Paul Kozak at 1-888-466-2372 ext. 6-3595.

The disease status is shown on the right hand side of the table.

Abbreviations are used as follows:

  • AFB = American Foulbrood
  • __/96 = the year that the pest or disease was found.

Producers are permitted to use stock only from locations visually free of AFB for two years or more. If AFB is found at a location, that location is quarantined for two years. A producer that has a location under quarantine will show up as AFB/04 or AFB/05.

Queen and Nuc Producers

Queen and nuc producers are required to obtain permits from the local inspectors. These permits are valid until the end of September of the following season. A small sticker with the permit number must accompany each shipment. These stickers bear the permit number under which the bees are sold. If a problem occurs, especially with bees purchased through a bee supply company, this number can be used to trace the origin of the bees. Retain this number for future reference. If you would like to sell bees this way, please contact your local bee inspector. For more information as to whom your inspector is, check out the Bee Inspector List on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food website.

Ontario Bee Breeders Association

Beekeepers join the Ontario Bee Breeders Association (OBBA) to develop their skills as queen producers. The OBBA meets once per year for a special training session. All beekeepers are welcome to join, even if you are not selling bees to other people. It costs $20 per year to belong to the OBBA, which is organized under the Ontario Beekeepers' Association (OBA). OBBA members are listed on the OBA website.

Breeding and Raising Queens

If you decide to raise your own queens, the best book available is "Queen Rearing" by Page and Laidlaw and is available through most Ontario Bee Suppliers. Check the Bee Suppliers List located on the OMAFRA website. The Tech-Transfer Team has developed a "Queen Rearing Manual' available through the OBA office (519-565-2622).

Several beekeepers are participating in a breeding program with the OBA Tech Transfer Specialist, Alison Skinner (519-836-3609). They are working to develop bees that will tolerate HBTM and Varroa mites. All producers that have participated in the breeding program have stocks of bees that now have significant tolerance to HBTM and are showing improved hygienic traits. The beekeepers that have participated in selection programs are indicated in this list by the years of their involvement in each area.

The participating beekeepers have invested a considerable amount into this testing, as they have to pay $200 per year plus $35 per frame for HBTM testing and $150 for the first 10 frames ($50 for each additional 10 frames) for hygienic behavior testing with liquid nitrogen. As a beekeeper, you should utilize this stock at every opportunity. Utilizing this selected stock will reduce the effects of the mites on your bees. If we had resistant queens in every hive in Ontario, we would greatly reduce the effects of the HBTM. We need to use every tool that we can to integrate into a pest management strategy to reduce the effects of the mites on the bees in Ontario. Bees that are bred to resist the mites are one important part of the strategy.

Two producers are certified as Buckfast Bee breeders. There is one Russian breeder, one breeder of Italian and one breeder of the Ontario Bee that was developed in New York State and Ontario. This gives you the opportunity to diversify your genetic pool in each bee yard. Try some queens from each of the breeders and go with those that work best in your management system.


We encourage you to use Ontario resistant stock. One economical way to accomplish this is to buy queen cells from the producers and introduce these to nucleus hives that will mature for next year. The other way is to purchase breeder queens and produce your own queens from them. Every beekeeper should be raising his or her own queens and be developing his or her own stock. Dr. Tibor Szabo strongly believes that a young queen in the hive is one of the best tools in an integrated pest management scheme for mites. The young queens stimulate brood production in the fall when the bees need a boost to overcome the effects of the mites on the bees preparing for winter.

These tools need to be combined with timely treatments of Mite-AwayIi™ in the spring and fall followed by an Oxalic Acid treatment in the late fall to stay ahead of the mites. Take a look at the Ontario Recommendations for Honey Bee Disease Control for more information.

Queen and Nuc Producers

Contact Information Statistics
Mewett, C. Peter
1451 Baptist Church Rd.,

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext 6-4230
Local: (519) 826-4230
E-mail: foodinspection@ontario.ca
Author: Paul Kozak - Provincial Apiarist/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 07 April 2006
Last Reviewed: 16 January 2013