Posted 06.15.15 / Local Produce, People, Places
Well Isn’t That the Bee’s Knees
Honey is rich in antioxidants, a natural sweetener and contains vitamins and minerals. No wonder we like to incorporate this golden liquid into our drink and dessert menus. But we don’t have to look very far to source honey, one of nature’s powerful superfoods. The number of amateur beekeepers in Greater Sudbury continues to grow – a weekend beekeeping workshop attracted some 40 participants eager to learn more about the process that dates back to ancient Egypt.
Depending on the number of beehives under their care, beekeepers can yield enough honey to sell commercially while others produce only enough to satisfy their own sweet tooth.
Bob Dewar guides us to his backyard apiary where an electric fence protects 12 colourfully painted wooden beehives from fury intruders. We can hear the buzzing of bees as we approach the colonies.
One hive requires between 50,000 and 60,000 bees to produce honey. And one hive reaps anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds of honey.
Verdicchio’s staff was invited to the Lively property to learn more about beekeeping and how these flying insects produce the sweet food. Suited with protective clothing we followed Bob around the yard as he explained in great detail the parts of the beehive and the role of each member of the honeybee colony. It’s all about teamwork – the formula for any successful organization.
We can see that beekeeping is not only a labour of love for Bob, but requires loads of patience and respect for nature. He’s visibly comfortable as he carefully removes a frame from the brood chamber to reveal honeycomb. He wears no gloves and glides through the movements with ease – after all he’s been doing this for 20 years.
Bob has beehives on his Lively property but also at Ruby Berry Farm in Chelmsford and an abandoned gravel pit that has undergone some serious regreening. He tells us how different each honey tastes; for example the honey at Ruby Berry Farm tastes like – you guessed it – strawberries.