Prince Edward Island

Thursday 3 December 2020

Blueberries are the number one exported Canadian fruit crop and they contributed $270 million to our economy in 2019.  Wild blueberries only grow in our region of eastern North America, with commercial production in four provinces combining to make Canada the largest producer in the world.  The wild blueberry industry and the honey bee industry are inseparable with the Maritime region demanding upwards of 60 thousand hives for pollination annually!  Now that the dust is settling on this year’s blueberry season, we have asked our provincial experts for an update.

Prince Edward Island

The 2020 yield for wild blueberries on PEI was 18,564,976 pounds. With an estimated 6,500 acres having been harvested this year.  The average yield per acre was approximately 2,860 lbs.  Prices to producers are currently as high as $0.70/ lb which is a positive improvement over last season.  In order to achieve pollination for the 2020 crop, PEI imported 5,237 hives, largely from Ontario, with local PEI beekeepers suppling an estimated 4,750 hives. This would indicate an average stocking density across the Island of approximately 1.5 hives per acre. This is up from both 2018 and 2019, whose average stocking densities were 1.0 and 1.2 hives/ acre, respectively.  This has meant an almost doubling in the number of imported hives each year since 2018.  The number of local hives has not changed significantly during the same time period.  Cameron Menzies, Berry Crop Development Officer and Provincial Apiarist, stated that he expects that with the higher blueberry price and the trend of increasing imports we've seen the last few years, demand for hive importation in 2021 will be strong, matching 2020's demand or exceeding it.  That would mean perhaps 6,000 imported hives or more.

Cameron Menzies, Berry Crop Development Officer / Provincial Apiarist

Agriculture and Land Agriculture Industry Development

Nova Scotia

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