THINGS TO DO:
Farms & Markets
The snack of “honey spoons” started at our house during flu season. My toddler was too little for cough syrup, so I gave him a teaspoon of honey to calm his cough. Now, given a choice between honey and marshmallows, honey spoon always wins. And I’m certainly ok with that.
Honey is easily digested, packed with vitamins and minerals and it’s locally farmed. In fact, Alberta produces about 40 per cent of Canada’s honey. Bees love our long summer days and clover, canola and alfalfa crops. And farmers love them back – honeybees are important pollinators and critical to the agricultural industry.
So this summer, celebrate Alberta honey with us. Visit a honey farm, whoop it up at a honey party or just grab a jar and spoon.
How sweet it is!
Tour the Chinook Honey Apiary
Before you approach the hustle and bustle of Chinook Honey’sobservation hive, you’ll hear the buzz. Looking close through the mesh, you spy the big queen laying her eggs (up to 2,000 of them a day!), dancing workers delivering their goodies and a brand-new baby bee emerging from the wax comb. You could watch them all day but you’ve got a beekeeping demo next, a honey wine tasting in a few minutes and a lot of fresh honey to buy at the store.
The Chinook Honeyfarm is in Okotoks, just 20 minutes south of Calgary. Here, a tour guide will lead you around the observation hives, show you how beekeepers keep their colonies happy and share some cool honeybee facts, like this one: did you know that a queen bee can decide whether to lay female worker or male drone eggs? Bees are awesome. The farm also houses a meadery, where you can tour the honey wine fermentation room and have a taste or two.
Paint the Town Yellow and Black in Falher
Each year for the past two decades, honeybee fans have donned bobbing antennae headbands and yellow-and-black stripy tees for the Falher Honey Festival. Two hours south of Peace River, Falher is smack in the heart of Alberta’s world famous clover honey region, which at its peak produced 10 million pounds of honey a year. Being the Honey Capital of Canada totally explains the 6.7 metre bee statue.
In between eating a free pancake breakfast, watching live bands, playing in the big slow pitch tourney and shopping at the Alberta honey market, pause to behold the Honey Festival’s bee beard demo, where a few brave souls don waggling beards of live bees! Amazing.