The mountains around the Skeena Valley are blessed with the perfect growing conditions for fireweed. The hives are moved up into the mountains and placed in cut-blocks for the months July and August. At the higher elevation and isolation of being in the mountains, the bees are free to collect pollen away from pollution and pesticide sprays, making this a special honey. The vast majority of the nectar source is Fireweed, but they also have access to other sources such as clover, various berries, goldenrod and various mountain flora. Because of the Fireweed it produces a very light colour and subtle flavour. Fireweed based honey is considered the “Champagne of Honey” and as a result, highly prized. This honey is available starting at the end August and until supplies last.
We follow an organic method of beekeeping; NO pesticides. This is also reflected in how we handle and process our honey. The honey we produce is left as pure as possible. We do not ultra-filter our honey; we also do not heat our honey during extraction, it never gets above room temperature. This allows for trace pollens, vitamins, minerals, and active enzymes to be present in the honey. We feel that not only does this produce a better tasting product, but also a much healthier one. Since we do not use any pesticides with the rearing and care of our bees; it is your best chance of getting a chemical free honey.
The Carniolan bees are very suitable for our northern cooler climate; they over-winter well and carry a smaller cluster through the coldest periods, which is a clever strategy as this means they do not need quite as much food as some of the other breeds and strains of bees available. They have a superb temperament, and require very little or no smoke during a hive inspection.
Affectionately known as the "Grey Ladies", the Carniolan has excellent hive orientation and flying ability and is a calm character and is now probably the most popular breed of bee kept by non-commercial keepers.
They are not known as "robbing bees" and they also have a low tendency to propolis everything in sight, which makes your inspections much easier.
With very rapid colony development in the spring, good disease resistance, and their famous calm temperament, the Carniolan bee is very hard to beat.
In order for a queen to be selected to become a breeder, she must meet these criteria:
Must have survived through a winter.
Hive must be absolutely disease free.
Must be able to demonstrate that they can control mites on their own (less than 10 mites in a 72hr drop test).
Must not be overly defensive.
Must not be “runny” on the frames.
Must be able to maintain a good brood size, with good spring build-up, and be good honey producers.
Out of these, only the best hives become eligible to become donors for the production of queens.
They are 4 frame nucs which have been produced during the summer from our own stock of bees which then go through a winter with their own queen, they will need to be place into a 10 frame hive box as soon as you get them.
(Available in May until supplies last.)
Skeena Valley Apiary
From Our Bees to Your Table
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