Chinook Honey Company


The new packages in their hives, ready to be moved outApril was a month most of us would like to forget. The snow prevented us from getting to our hives until mid month, a full month later than normal. Once there we found a sad story repeated at most of our 12 sites. On average over 50% of our bee colonies were dead. What could wreak such havoc? Without the help of a lab it is often hard to figure that out. From the evidence we have we believe it may have been nosema ceranae, a virulent protozoan disease which medicated for in the fall. So why didn’t it work? Was the severe, long winter also a factor? There are many questions still unanswered and though we have queried our provincial apiculturist he is dealing with many Alberta beekeepers in the same situation.
We received 150 new bee packages from New Zealand in late April and the sight of many happy, healthy hives in our ‘nursery’ field was a tonic for the sad situation at our other yards. They have now been moved to their new locations. Un-wrapping the surviving older hives was done by mid May and at that point there were a few more losses. The cool May weather slowed the development of the new hives - hopefully June will be much better. Certainly the bountiful dandelion crop has helped.

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Cherry Mi AmorMead Matters

The Meadery has been a busy place of late. We’ve been bottling and labeling a new batch of lightly oaked King Arthurs Dry as well as the new Cherry Mi Amor which is now on the shelf.

Cherry Mi Amor is a wonderful blend of Alberta Evans cherries and BC sweet cherries. It has a good balance of sweet and tart with overtones of cinnamon. So much like cherry pie you can almost taste the pastry! It sells for $15 for 375 ml. 

We now have a selection of 6 meads varying from dry to sweet and fruity. There’s something for almost every taste. 

New Red Currant JellyProduct of the Month

Our newest product from the Chinook Honey Company kitchen is red currant jelly. The Red Currants are harvested from our own garden orchard and make a great jelly with only honey. (Yes, jams and jellies can be made with only honey!)

The sweetness of the honey certainly tames the tartness of the currants and makes a great addition to more than just bread and pastries. It is $5.50 for 190 ml.
Our favourite treat is the following ‘participation’ appetizer:
Roast heads of garlic (trim top of bulbs to expose flesh, baste with olive oil) at 350° F (180°C) for 1 hr.
You and your guests then smear crackers with roasted garlic, then warmed Brie and top with a dot of Red Currant jelly.
Paired with Melissa’s Gold Mead, you will have a very special appetizer.

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Recipe from our Kitchen

No-Cook Honey Booster Bar

At this time of year we have very little time for healthy meal preparation so we use these protein and carb packed bars often as breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner.
Click here to view a printer-friendly version of the full recipe.

Research in the news

chinook honeyThe buzz about Colony Collapse Disorder
May 07, 2009 -- Melynda Harrison, MSU News
"Overnight, the bees are just gone and you don't know what happened”.
The bees may have been infected by single-celled, spore-producing fungus called Nosema ceranae. Nosema ceranae is one of many possible causes of CCD that bee researchers are looking into.

Teasing Trivia

How many flowers must honey bees tap to make one pound of honey?
Two million

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