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 […]
It is swarm season again, but this time with a twist. The early spring is wreaking havoc for beekeepers, who are finding overwintered colonies exceptionally strong. The mild winter, I think, has lulled some beekeepers into not realizing their hives are bigger, stronger and hence, more prone to swarm earlier than usual. The general rule […]
Get ready for the B.C. Honey Producers Association’s semi-annual general meeting and Education Day on March 13-14 in Kamloops. The BCHPA has organized a great education program for Saturday, March 14, following their regular business day on Friday. You can register here. They are also bringing back, by popular demand, the Certified Instructors Course, which […]
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 […]
It is a spectacular thing to chase a massive swarm as it moves straight down the middle of a major street, all while people go about their business, unaware of what is going on overhead. Recovering that swarm from the top of a four-storey tree, as its branches, bent heavy with bees, bend over the […]
Canadian beekeepers hoping for quick access to cheaper package bees from the United States have had their hopes dented, if not crushed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has concluded a new risk assessment report that says Canadian apiculture remains exposed to the potential for medication-resistant varroa mites and American Foulbrood, and infestations of small hive […]
We’re back right as rain, just as the rain hits. I managed to install new honey bee queens in a number of hives last night, fixing a self-inflicted problem that started when I de-queened the hives as part of an experiment in treating for mites. Stupid me, I then killed almost all of the banked […]
The lessons we learn as beekeepers are supposed to help us. I recently made a catastrophic mistake that also cost us a bundle and lost us some very good queens. Like many beekeepers in British Columbia, we take our honey off around the middle of August. Anything the bees collect after that is meant for […]
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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