It is barely spring here in the Creston Valley, and we’re just gearing up to go into pollination in the cherry orchards for which this place is famous. As I’d previously reported, we bought Swan Valley Honey last July and made the consequential leap of moving from the Vancouver area to Creston. As we wait […]
We caught our first swarm last week in Vancouver, under circumstances that, like everything in beekeeping, delivered us a wealth of information. With the strong warm weather of May and June and the lack of rain, most hives in the Metro area grew like stink. The week of rain in late June not only shortened […]
We took our honey supers off Amanda’s hive on the weekend and learned some quick – and painful – lessons. The first one was: use bee escapes. Those are the simple little gadgets that you use when you want to clear a super of bees before removing it from the hive. I actually had bought […]
Our post about high honey yields experienced by Tim Monaghan and John Mei prompted some questions about how others are doing right now. This morning I spoke to Paul van Westendorp, the provincial apiculturalist, who said some beekeepers are getting astonishing returns despite the so-so spring weather. He told me of a pair of newbies […]
When we first started thinking about keeping bees, someone told a fantastical tale about hives in our neighborhood producing upwards of 200 lbs of honey. Two hundred pounds! Wow, what would we do with all that liquid gold? That figure seemed way out of line with recent B.C. government honey production estimates, which basically show […]
Starting with bees is surprisingly easy. Technically, all you need is a box in which to keep them. But society, science and common sense have all worked together to bring in some basic rules that, when followed, will ensure your bees have the best chance of producing honey and you get along with your neighbours. […]
Sunday was a big day for me. Since putting the nucleus colony of four frames into my hive on May 21st, I have watched as my bees have drawn out comb. The queen has been busy laying eggs and building a colony. In late June I added a second brood chamber, and watched as the […]
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
- Canada Bans Neonicotinoid Pesticides On Most Foods – Finally April 18, 2019
- 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
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