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 […]
Small Hive Beetle, a nasty little pest that B.C. has already had a small taste of, has raised its ugly head in Alberta. And, as seems to be the case so often these days, it is as a result of hitching a ride with an unsuspecting beekeeper. The situation in this case is much more […]
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 […]
Paul van Westendorp, B.C.’s provincial apiculturist, has notified the B.C. beekeeping community that he has now rescinded the five Small Hive Beetle hold order areas (euphemistically known as quarantine zones) in the Fraser Valley effective Wednesday, Oct. 7. The lifting of the orders comes a week before they were to expire, and come after van […]
Provincial bee inspectors in British Columbia have discovered three more apiaries along the Canada-U.S. border with adult small hive beetles since the discovery of a single beetle on August 24. The discoveries, which provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp said are likely not the last, have resulted in several overlapping quarantine zones between Abbotsford and Langley. […]
Beekeepers in British Columbia have just joined a less-than-illustrious club, the Small Hive Beetle club, with the discovery of a single adult in a honey bee colony in Abbotsford. The discovery, made August 24 and confirmed on August 27, is the first recorded instance of the sub-Saharan beetle in the province. I’ve written a story […]
We’ve had our hands full this year, what with the exceptionally early spring and the unusual advancement of bloom times. Our blueberry and raspberry growers called us in early, and the wild blackberry flow that we all depend upon in the Fraser Valley for our honey is just as early. But what’s been equally troubling […]
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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