Ministry of Agriculture

Apiculture Factsheet #002

Importing Queens and Packaged Bees

Canadian beekeepers can import queens and packaged bees from several approved sources. All bee imports into Canada require a federal Import Permit. Please be aware that the status of honey bee sources can change as diseases may be introduced.

Approved sources include:

  • Queens - New Zealand, Australia, Chile, California and Hawaii
  • Packages - New Zealand, Australia, and Chile

Import Permits must be applied for and can be obtained from:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Room 175, 17735-1st Ave

Surrey, BC  V3S 9S1
Ph. 604 541-3368
Fax 604-541-3375

Information about obtaining an Import Permit can also be found on the internet at (Animals / Imports of Animals & Animal Products / Automated Import Reference System / type in "bees" or "queens").

Import Permits involve a fee, regardless of the size of the order. For smaller shipments, ordering through a Beekeeper Supplier or group purchase may be far cheaper.

When ordering bees from Australia and New Zealand, plan for the earliest possible date of arrival. Earlier shipments tend to be of better quality and queens adjust better.

When queens or packages are needed later in the spring, consider purchasing good quality bees from local breeders. For a list of members of the BC Bee Breeders Association, see