We are located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, a short ferry ride from Vancouver; and within the traditional territory of the Sechelt Nation.
All of our yards are registered with the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture and subject to inspection by the Provincial Bee Inspector. We work hard to keep our bees healthy and happy, using methods of integrated pest management that include organic methods of mite control, routine removal and replacement of hive equipment and being a good neighbour by managing spring populations and making every effort to prevent swarming behaviour. Like all other beekeepers…we love our bees.
Our honey is uncapped by hand, extracted in small batches and simply screened ~ and our honey house operates under British Columbia food safe guidelines.
In October 2016 we invited our local inspector from Vancouver Coastal Health to visit our honey house; the outcome being that we are verified compliant, and in fact we even meet the requirements of a commercial kitchen; great to have the validation and a big thank you to VCH.
New ‘stuff’ we are considering for the coming season –
Fire Cider; made the first batch of fire cider which is pretty amazing; but decided that the peeling and chopping of all that ginger root, turmeric root, garlic, onions, jalepeno, horseradish root etc.. was not as they say ‘scale-able‘ when you have a whole lot of bees and other projects. So fire cider will be a family and friends product. That being said other than time consumption it is fairly easy to concoct and I would encourage you to make a batch – when it comes time to sweeten to taste with honey – I can certainly help you there!
We are going to place pollen traps and with our current propolis gathering produce “hive” honey – a blending of our unfiltered honey with local pollen and propolis. A cold and flu season honey. I’m hoping we’ll get some of this out starting this spring.
So~! Will keep everyone posted!
Our bees did well this summer, despite mid summer nectar flows being less productive than we hoped; and once again blooms were a month earlier than they should be (see planting a sourwood tree!!).
We are now advancing into the winter and bees are all tucked in – so far so good. No bear incursions (touch wood), some fence damage to falling tree branches in wind and rain storms.. and wow… wet, wet, wet… ugh. Will be planning for a mite treatment on the bees at winter solstice ( weather permitting) – organic with oxalic acid.
We are currently overwintering 2 very small colonies inside our honey house. The hives are on wheels and on warm days get rolled outside and then brought back inside when it’s dark. These two hives were savaged by wasps this autumn but I really wanted to save them, both new queens that had been mated up in the mountains. As well we have on our front porch the feral colony that was removed from the cedar tree on the 18th of November and hived – they are doing really well. So into winter with 56 colonies – here’s hoping we come out the other end in good shape.
I will be bringing in some packages from New Zealand this spring – I have a list of interested beekeepers going so if you want – I need to hear from you by Christmas – I still don’t have a 2017 price but last year they were running around 240.00 each. I don’t expect the price to come down and expecting it to be higher due to demand and pressures out there in bee world.