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 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
      • Nucleus colonies, full size colonies and honey bee packages
      • Note: Approved applicants will be required to provide a valid import permit for stock purchased from vendors outside of Ontario, or a valid seller’s permit from the vendor from whom the stock was purchased within Ontario, with their claim submission.
    • 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
    • Costs related to the development or improvement of websites for on-line sales
  • 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 $15,000 per business for commercial beekeepers and $6,000 per business for hobbyist beekeepers, for all cost-share funding paid under the Targeted Intake to Support Managed Bee Health

Commercial beekeepers are those with 50 or more hives as of the date of the first approved application to this intake.

Hobbyist beekeepers are those with less than 50 hives as of the date of the first approved application to this intake.

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:

  • For the purchase of documented disease-free honeybee stock only, eligible costs can be incurred, invoiced and paid for retroactively before getting project approval back to January 1, 2022. All other eligible costs can only be incurred, invoiced, and paid for by the applicant on or after the date specified on the Approval Letter.
  • 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.

Projects approved after October 12, 2022, under this category must be complete and operational, including having received all goods and/or services, no later than November 30, 2022.

There is no limit to the number of applications that a registered beekeeper may submit.

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


For more information, visit ontariosoilcrop.org

Any established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption, is eligible to apply for cost-share funding under the Partnership—provided that the farm business meets all of the requirements set out in the Program Guide. You must also have a valid and up-to-date Premises Identification (PID) Number for the farm property where the project is to take place. In addition, you are required to be in compliance with all Requirements of the Law and remain in compliance for the duration of the project.

A business may have up to two (2) applications under consideration at one time. A separate application must be submitted for each project. Businesses can only have a maximum of two (2) applications approved under the Targeted Bee Intake starting June 21, 2021.

Applications are evaluated based only on the information submitted and will not be considered if they do not meet eligibility criteria or if they are incomplete.

Complete applications that meet eligibility criteria are assessed using Merit Assessment Criteria, which is specific to each Project Category. Applications that are selected using a merit-based review process are approved on a continuous basis while funds remain available.

Conditional approval for funding may be granted for complete applications with high merit that require confirmation of additional information before project approval.

Applications are submitted electronically.* You can apply and submit all required documentation at ontarioprograms.net.

You can also complete the Application Form for the Project Category you are applying under, and submit with all required documentation by email to CAP@ontariosoilcrop.org. Copies of Application Forms are available at ontarioprogramguides.net.

*If you cannot apply online or by email, you may send hard copy applications and all required documentation to OSCIA by post or courier to 1-367 Woodlawn Road W, Guelph, ON, N1H 7K9.

Applications will be reviewed, and cost-share funding decisions will be made after the Application Intake has closed. You will be notified by mail and/or email approximately 45 business days from the date a given Application Intake closes. (If there is an exception to this, it may be noted in the Project Category Description.) There are three possible outcomes:

  • Application is approved – you will receive confirmation of claim procedures and submission deadlines, and a questionnaire that must be completed at the end of the project.
  • Application is conditionally approved – you will be notified about what additional information is required to finalize approval of your project.

Application is declined – you will receive a brief explanation for the decision.

The start date for your project is the date on the Approval or Conditional Approval Letter issued by OSCIA for each successful project. Projects cannot be started before that date. Eligible costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for by the applicant after the date on which the Letter is issued (if there is an exception to this, it may be noted in the Project Category Description).

The completion date for your project will be specified in the Approval Letter issued by OSCIA for the successful project. Eligible costs must be incurred, invoiced and paid for by the applicant on or before this completion date.

Edit date: November 1, 2022

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