There is an art to raising good honey bee queens, it seems. So Amanda Goodman Lee and I are up in Tappen, B.C along with other beekeepers from around the province learning from two masters, John Gates and his protege, BillStagg. Gates is a former provincial apiculturist who helped develop a made-in-B.C. queen-rearing program. Until […]
Who would have thought that beekeeping could be so complicated? The honey bees aren’t really even flying right now, other than some exploratory flights looking for early pollen. But it seems that the work of getting these little perishers ready for the new season starts early. So early, in fact, that I took this week […]
On our book shelves devoted to beekeeping are some of the classics; Langstroth’s Hive and the Honey Bee, Root & Miller’s ABC and ZYZ of Honey Bee Culture, Francis Huber’s New Observation Upon Bees, and dozens of other books that cover everything from queen breeding and selection to honey production to health benefits from hive […]
I am sure that I have seen this before, this long, winding fall of sun and warmth, where even the leaves on the maples and horse chestnuts remain unreasonably green. But somehow, this fall seems different, far beyond the Indian Summer we sometimes get. The smatterings of rain we’ve had in recent weeks have been […]
Last week, as we were getting ready to treat our colonies for varroa, Amanda discovered one that had Deformed Wing Virus. It is a particularly heartbreaking disease to find, since the predominant physical issue is that the bees have either shrivelled wings or no wings at all. Watching a wingless bee crawl around on the […]
Michael Bush, the Nebraska beekeeper and author of such useful books as “The Practical Beekeeper” and “Beekeeping Naturally” will be in Vancouver next month. Regularly sought for his knowledge and simple ways of dealing with honey bees, Bush has also made something of a business of reproducing out-of-print publications from early beekeepers, such as Francis […]
When we first got into beekeeping a few years ago, someone warned me that as we grew in size I would wonder where all the time went. They told us that our first year, that heady moment when we brought home our first two nucleus colonies and watched in awe as they grew and began […]
I always look forward to the annual B.C. Honey Producers’ Association convention for two reasons. The first, but not most important one is that it comes towards the end of a season of heavy lifting. The approach of the AGM and its popular education day are signs that the frenetic summertime workload of looking after […]
About . . .
Honey Bee Zen Apiaries Ltd and its subsidiary, Swan Valley Honey Ltd., are known for their sustainable beekeeping practices and a growing list of terroir-based niche honeys.
Based in the verdant Creston Valley in B.C.'s Central Kootenay region, we produce award-winning honeys derived from a vast array of forages, including alfalfa, dutch clover, snowberry, thistle, wild fruits, fireweed, sweet clover and more. The land has provided our Swan Valley branded-honey a gentle, delectable, sweetness sought after throughout the province. We supply over 30 retail locations in B.C.
We are committed to working with farmers who respect the land they use and the bees we provide, and we seek out strong and beneficial relationships. We are interested in the science and breeding of bees, the production of honey and hive products, and trying to resolve the challenges bees and their keepers around the world face.
- Picking Blueberries With Sandhill Cranes: A Summer Event July 17, 2016
- Canada’s ban on honey bee imports is folly, says B.C.’s biggest beekeeper March 10, 2012
- Treating bees with oxalic acid; a late-winter mite-killing exercise February 1, 2015
- Battling honey bee chalkbrood an expensive, maddening affair June 9, 2015
- Four apiary sites in B.C.’s Fraser Valley found with small hive beetles September 10, 2015
- Painting New Honey Supers For The Coming Season April 18, 2018
- World Supplier of Nosema Medication Fumagilin-B Shuts Down April 13, 2018
- Alberta Small Hive Beetle find means trouble for B.C. beekeepers July 29, 2017
- New honey in our Swan Valley operations in Creston! July 20, 2017
- New adventures for Honey Bee Zen Apiaries and Swan Valley Honey July 16, 2017
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