Advancing Beekeeper Business Capacity


Stream: Producer



To diversify and build beekeeper business capacity through support for: bee breeding for pest/disease resistance; development or marketing of niche/retail products; or pollination services expansion.

Who should apply?

Ontario beekeepers holding a valid certificate of registration, issued under the Bees Act, for the current beekeeping season who wish to significantly increase their sales by developing new products or processes, or who wish to increase their sales in the Canadian market by implementing a comprehensive business or marketing plan.

To apply you must have

Ten (10) or more colonies registered with the Provincial Apiarist for the current beekeeping season

Eligible activities and expenditures

  • Establishing Domestically Raised Disease Resistant Honey Bee Colonies, including:
    • Purchase of domestic and documented disease-free honey bee stock, such as:
      • Hygienic/tracheal mite resistant queens and queen cells to a limit of $30 in cost-share funding per registered colony
      • Bee packages and nucleus colonies
    • Costs associated with workshops or courses for breeding bees for pest/disease resistance or developing recognized Ontario stock, excluding field testing for hygienic behaviour or other beneficial traits in managed honey bees to a limit of $200 in cost-share funding (see funding for Honey Bee Health Management)
  • Implementing a comprehensive marketing plan to retain, expand and/or access new markets in Canada
    • Implementation of a business or marketing plan to expand or maintain domestic market access, or access a new market within Canada, that may include:
      • Brand development
      • Focus group and/or consumer studies
      • In-market product demonstrations
      • Promotional material development
      • Product introduction campaigns for markets
      • Sales, marketing and promotional activities
      • Specially produced product samples (not from normal production) for market research, tradeshow or specific events (e.g., lab or pilot samples made specifically for marketing purposes)
      • Packaging design
    • Shipping costs for tradeshow product samples that are not intended for resale
    • One-time costs for rental of facilities, processing equipment or machinery required specifically for the project
  • Developing products or processes to significantly increase sales and retain or grow an existing market or access a new market:
    • Third-party advisory costs for product and process development activities, which may include:
      • Regulatory review
      • Ingredient, material or packaging sourcing
      • Formulation development
      • Process development
      • Scale-up trials
      • Shelf life determination
      • Testing or analysis to verify and complement the development process, including nutritional, microbial, chemical, allergen or sensory/consumer
      • Product physical testing
      • Packaging-related activities, including testing to ensure compatibility with product
      • Labelling development and design for marketing purposes
      • Labelling development to ensure compliance with regulations
    • Capital expenses and installation or configuration costs related to:
      • Acquiring new processing equipment and technology
      • Retrofitting or modifying existing processing equipment and technology, and/or software systems in support of the development of new value-added agri-food/agricultural products (including equipment to package and label products)
    • First-time training of key personnel on new, project-related equipment, technology and processes (e.g., train the trainer) related to value-added agri-food/agricultural products
    • One-time costs for rental of facilities, processing equipment or machinery required specifically for the project

Ineligible activities and expenditures

  • Activities and expenditures as detailed here
  • Product samples not related to a new product launch or a promotional event (e.g., tradeshow)
  • Product samples produced from normal production
  • Retail or food services listing fees
  • Costs of acquiring production or processing quota permits
  • Activities already being conducted for existing products in existing markets
  • Costs to promote Ontario products explicitly over those of another province or territory in Canada
  • In-kind contributions

Available cost-share

50 per cent, up to a maximum of $3,500 per business, for all cost-share funding paid under the Targeted Intake to Support Managed Bee Health

Required documentation

  • Valid certificate of registration issued under the Bees Act, for the current beekeeping season
  • Quotes or proposals for all activities that will be sourced from third-party suppliers (e.g., consultants) detailing services, outcomes and costs

Merit assessment criteria

  • Commodity-Specific Targeting – targeting commercial beekeepers and bee breeders and producers
  • Size of Operation – priority given to beekeepers with the largest number of colonies
  • Identified Level of Risk – priority given to proposals that will have the greatest impact based on risk of spread or introduction of pests/disease
  • Geographic Location – priority given to operations located in remote areas (e.g., Northern Ontario)

Other useful information

The following exceptions are in place for applicants and projects submitted under the Targeted Intake to Support Managed Bee Health:

  • Applicants are not required to have a Premises Identification Number for the farm property where the project is to take place
  • Applicants that are not required to have a Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) according to the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act are eligible for cost-share funding under the condition that they are a registered beekeeper and hold a valid certificate of registration, issued under the Bees Act for the current beekeeping season.

See other eligible activities and expenditures under funding for Honey Bee Health Management

What's Next?

Is this project for you? Find out if you meet the program requirements
Program Requirements


Meet the program requirements?

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Edit date: January 29, 2020

Need Help?

For assistance with the Online Program Guide, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre – Mon. to Fri., 8 am – 5 pm, 1-877-424-1300 or ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca