Province updating survey on beekeeping costs and returns

The four-decade-old survey is periodically updated to give producers benchmark data

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The province is conducting its latest survey on the cost of production for beekeeping in Alberta.

“The main purpose of the 2016 Beekeeping Cost of Production Survey is to monitor the current costs and returns of beekeeping in Alberta,” said Emmanuel Laate, senior crop economist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

“We have periodically monitored the beekeeping industry in Alberta since the early 1970s. The last cost of production study was completed in 2013 with 2011 data.”

There are three key benefits for those participating in the survey.

“First, participants will receive a free customized business analysis report of their operation,” said Laate. “This report, which details the production costs and returns on a per-unit basis (dollar per hive or dollar per pound of honey produced), can help them to make profitable management decisions.”

Second, participants will be helping develop an up-to-date economic benchmark report on beekeeping in Alberta. They can also compare their operation’s performance to their ‘peers in the province’ to identify areas of their own operation where they can improve efficiencies and lower their unit cost of production.

“When I say peers, I mean the averages of operations that are grouped by region, size, and type or management practice,” said Laate, noting all personal identifiers are removed from the published data.

Third, new beekeepers can use the information to increase their understanding of what the costs and returns are for the various beekeeping enterprises.

“They can see the regional differences in costs and returns for beekeeping operations across the province.”

Laate has sent letters to selected beekeepers inviting them to participate. On-farm interviews will be conducted between Dec. 1 and March 15. For more information regarding this study, call Emmanuel Laate at 780-422-4054. The study is funded by Growing Forward 2.

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