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 […]
With swarm season comes a multitude of challenges of how to successfully retrieve a colony that makes like a hive and splits. Many of us have seen the pictures of swarms in really, really odd places; on the wing tips of aircraft, under bicycle seats and on the tines of harrows and other farm equipment. […]
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 […]
FOREST GROVE, OREGON – It’s a contrary argument for beekeepers wrestling with the greatest pest in they’ve ever faced to suggest that you should make the varroa mite your ally. But that’s exactly the argument Kirk Webster, the pioneering treatment-free beekeeper, made this weekend to a packed crowd. More than 100 beekeepers from all over […]
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 […]
Alex Kurnicki has an interesting problem literally developing next door to his lush Vancouver garden home that puts into perspective the challenges facing urban beekeepers. Right next to his lot on St. George Street, a tiny little oasis of bee-friendly plants and trees, is a massive development. When finished, the new owners of the strata […]
A Langstroth hive it is not. An indulgence by a group of over-active, over-achieving architecture students, well, that’s more likely. I’m talking about a new “Elevator B” tower of polished stainless steel that students from the University of Buffalo have built for a survivor hive in an industrial part of the city.Here’s a CBC story […]
This is the season now for honey bee swarms, and if you’ve ever seen one, it can be an impressive sight. What to do with a swarm depends upon who you are: Homeowner or business owner Municipality or first responder Beekeeper First of all, don’t panic. Swarming is a natural phenomenon for honey bees and […]
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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