Parkland County’s Finest Honey!
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. was formed in 1979 by Tim & Pam Townsend. Starting with 600 colonies, we have since expanded to 3,300 colonies for honey production. At TPLR we have a simple policy. The quality and safety of our honey must be produced at the highest achievable level.
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. is CFIA registered as a “Producer-Grader”, and we implement the standards of the Canadian Bee Industry Quality Safety Traceability Program (CBISQT) and the National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard in our honey production procedures.
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. is operated by Tim and Pam Townsend, along with their son Lee and his wife Elise. We are proudly located in Parkland County, Alberta, Canada and our honey is sold in Japan, Canada and the United States.
Facts Worth Buzzing About
Honeybees Survive On Honey and Liquid Sucrose In the Winter
Honeybees are fed between 5-6 gallons of liquid sucrose once honey production is finished in addition to approximately 30-40 pounds of honey that is already in the colony. The bees will rely on this as their primary food source until April. This combination of the combined feeds is preferred over honey during the cold winter months as it is easier for them to access.
Now That’s Fast!
The honey bee’s wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
Size Doesn’t Matter
The bee’s brain is oval in shape and only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has remarkable capacity to learn and remember things and is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.
How Many Honeybee Colonies Are In Canada?
As of 2016, there were 750,155 colonies in Canada and 305,000 colonies in Alberta.
How Many Beekeepers Are In Canada?
There were 9,859 beekeepers in Canada and 1,400 beekeepers in Alberta in 2016. 80% of the colonies are managed by commercial beekeepers.
How Much Honey Does Canada Produce Yearly?
This can vary due to weather and crop conditions and the health status of the bees. In 2016 Canada produced 92,184,00 pounds of honey, with Alberta accounting for 38,125,000 pounds. Floral sources vary across the country. In Alberta, the primary crops are canola, alfalfa and clover. Canadian honey is highly regarded across the world for being light in colour, sweet-tasting, and of high quality due to our food safety standards.
What Do Beekeepers Do With Their Bees For The Winter?
All beekeepers overwinter their colonies, with the majority being wintered outdoors. The bees are fed and medicated in the fall once honey production is completed, and for many beekeepers that will be the last time they manage their colonies until spring.
Wintering losses can vary, with losses of 10-20% being ideal.
Can Canadian Beekeepers Import Honeybees From Other Countries?
Canada does import queen bees from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. We also import package bees from New Zealand and Australia.
Canadian beekeepers also raise their own queens and overwinter their colonies, with bee stock imports being vital in maintaining and growing our populations.
How Beneficial Are Honeybees To Canadian Agriculture?
Honeybees are a key component of Canadian agriculture. For detailed information regarding the full impact they have, please click here.
I Have A Pool/Hot Tub And There Are Bees All Over It, What Can I Do?
Honeybees, like all creatures, require water. They generally receive all the water they need from lakes, ponds, sloughs, river beds, etc. At times this does include hot tubs and pools during derth periods or drought conditions.
To deter the bees from a hot tub or pool it is very important that there is a tight-fitting lid/cover in place when not in use. If it is left uncovered when not in use, the bees will quickly orientate to it and it will be difficult to stop them from visiting. You can also place pails of water (that have a little bit of salt added) between the hives and the pool/hot tub.
Are Honeybees Aggressive?
Not at all! Bees in Canada are defensive by nature, and will only pose a problem if they are disturbed. If you leave them alone, they generally leave you alone.
Keep in mind that bees do not like dark colours (as it reminds them of natural predators), strong aromas (perfumes, alcohol, etc.), and rapid movements.
What Makes For A Good Bee Yard?
Beekeepers are always looking for locations to place their bees. We look for good north shelter, high ground, good access, and ideal forage within flying distance. Having bees in town, on acreages, etc., is not ideal for a commercial beekeeper.
There Is A Swarm On My Property, What Should I Do?
While it is not ideal for colonies to produce swarms, it does happen from time to time. If you find a swarm, ensure what kind of bee it is first. If you have wasps/hornets/bumblebees and want them removed, it is best to call an exterminator. If you have honeybees, contact your local beekeeper or local hobby beekeeping association.
What Can I Do To Help Honeybees?
Beesmatter is a great initiative that has partnered with Canada’s national honeybee organization, the Canadian Honey Council. Their website has excellent information that details all you can do to help. Their website can be found at www.beesmatter.ca
Exporter of Quality Alberta & Canadian Honey
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. has incorporated the “National Bee Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard” into our beekeeping management practices. Farm-level biosecurity is a series of management practices that are designed to minimize the introduction and spread of disease-causing pathogens, parasites, insect pests, and predators (referred to collectively as pests) onto, within, and beyond the farm.
National Bee Farm-level Biosecurity Standard
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd., has fully incorporated the “Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality Traceability Program” (CBISQT) into our honey production management. The purpose of the CBISQT Producer Manual is to highlight the on-farm food safety risks in the production and primary processing of raw honey and to provide the necessary food safety assurance procedures and document controls for an operational food safety system scaled to the Canadian producer.
Canadian Honey Council CBISQT Page
All of TPLR Honey Farms Ltd., exports to Japan meet the requirements of the “Export Protocols for Alberta Honey going to Japan”. This document was created by the Alberta Beekeepers Commission, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the Alberta-Japan Office and Japanese honey buyers. The requirements for exporting honey to Japan are among the highest in the world, and Alberta was the first province in Canada to take the initiative to comply with these requirements.
Alberta Japan Export Honey Protocols
To ensure that our honey is stored and shipped in the safest manner possible, all of our honey is packaged in brand new 45 gallon steel drums that are certified for food use by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). These barrels also comply with the Canadian barrel standards as stipulated by the CFIA and the Canadian Honey Council.
Canadian Honey Barrel Standards
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. has been located within Parkland County for over 30 years.
TPLR Honey Farms Ltd., has been serving the needs of Parkland County, local landowners and farmers for longer than any other apiary in the region. This experience has allowed us the opportunity to develop and maintain strong relationships within the community. The relationship TPLR Honey Farms Ltd. has with local land owners and farmers is very important to us.