Chinook Honey Company


If it’s May, surely it must be spring (even in Alberta)! The snow drifts have finally gone, exposing the long buried hives that were carefully fed, medicated and wrapped last October. Unfortunately our nurturing efforts were of little avail and 65% of the hives we’ve checked so far have died. The causes are varied and in some cases mysterious. Certainly a large number were due to the long winter snow coverage which created a moisture build up in the hive, and reduced much needed air circulation. Others were affected by nosema (a protozoan disease) and parasitic varroa mites, even though we had medicated for those. A few appeared to have classic CCD symptoms with only a very few bees left in the hive, plenty of food and no evidence of any problem. Our worry of possible starvation because of the long winter was not even an issue. Beekeeping has become very disheartening and frustrating.

Shake In CrewThe one sight that lifts our spirits now is that of our very healthy new hives, the packages that arrived from New Zealand in late April. The day they arrived was busy as a crew of 6 methodically shook them into their new homes, set the queen cages in place and fed them supplemental pollen and sugar syrup. Though the weather hasn’t been exemplary, they are building steadily and will soon be relocated to fill the many empty spots left at our various bee yards.

Another happy sight is our new observation hive. Two frames from a surviving hive were introduced to a new Kiwi queen and she too has settled in nicely. She is even marked with a white dot. It’s handy but doesn’t always guarantee finding her under the mass of protective workers!

bee Sign up for your free copy of
The Beeline! bee


In This Issue: May 2011

Shaking in new bees
Maple Honey Cream Ripple
Berry Blisssss
Banana Oatmeal Muffins

beePlease feel free to forward this newsletter to any of your friends if you think they might enjoy it too!bee

chinook honey on facebook

Buzz Notes

beeNow back – jelly bees! 5 for $2.00
beeNew in the store – lovely crystal bee brooches for $14.95

Maple Honey Ice CreamProduct of the Month

Maple Honey Cream Ripple

It is ice cream season and what better way to celebrate than with a new variety. We have been tweaking our honey maple and now have “Maple Honey Cream Ripple”. As with all of our honey ice creams, we concoct the “special” ingredients and then the talented folks at Evelyn’s Memory Lane create the best, creamiest ice cream you’ll ever try. It is available in cones or cups at $2.75 for a single scoop and $3.75 for a double. OR better yet, get a 1 Litre to take home for $8.50.

Mead Matters

Berry BlissssThe release of Berry Blisssss April 22 was very well received. It is quickly becoming one of our most popular varieties. The winner of the “Name the Mead” contest, Berry Urban, was the happy recipient of 6 bottles of her new favourite mead.
In the tanks we have a new batch of Bodacious Black Currant and our future multi spice metheglin. We are hoping to release the new metheglin in the fall, something to help keep us warm as temperatures start to drop.
Our next release, anticipated for mid June, will be the Oaked Excalibur which has been languishing in the barrel for 10 months. It is mellowing very nicely and will undoubtedly be as or even more popular than the last batch which sold out over a year ago.
Mixology is the art of making cocktails and mead is a wonderfully versatile ingredient to use in this craft. Although we’re not experts in the field, we have certainly had fun using a variety of our meads in creative ways. Here is a very refreshing drink and the quick and simple star of last week’s experiments:
Ginger Ade
2 parts “Chinook Arch Meadery” Ginger Snapped Metheglin
1 part lemonade
Serve in a tall glass over ice, garnish with a lemon slice.

Saturday May 21
Mead and Honey Tasting Gala

Cantos Music Foundation
on 134 11th Avenue S.E. Calgary
7 pm - 10 pm
Click here for more info

Wednesday May 25

Farmer's market
Opening Day
3.30 pm - 7.30 pm
Click here for more info

Sunday May 29
International Day of the Honey Bee

Chinook Honey Company
Informal talks and tours at the apiary
12 pm - 5 pm

Saturday June 10
Farmer's market
Opening Day
9 am - 2 pm ** NEW HOURS**
Click here for more info

Recipe from our Kitchen

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Spring is the time that we’re busy from morning until night so having a quick healthy snack good for any time of the day is important. The ingredients can be changed up to include other things you might have on hand such as sunflower seeds, craisins, pineapple or pecans.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Click here to view the full recipe.


Bees and Honey in the News

(This isn’t directly bee related and not extremely current but very interesting for all of us)

Top Ten Food Trends for 2011
The Food Channel predicts its top ten trends for the new year

Top 10 Food Trends 2011

Our values have changed in recent years. We now value different things than we did before the economy slumped, jobs became a precious commodity, and technology turned out to complicate our lives as much as it gave us shortcuts. Sure, for years we talked about simplicity, sometimes under names like "local" or "social consciousness," or "green." But it was like true simplicity was second string—something that we should probably want, but didn’t, not really.
(Read more )

Cherie's Web Picks

1. Funding to Boost Alberta’s Beekeeping Industry

2. Bee protein powers super-sensitive explosive sensor

3. Honibe™ Announces Collaboration with Comvita to Launch World's First 100% Pure Manuka Lozenge

4. Honey, an alternative to hormone replacement therapy

5. Bee Pollen Weight Loss Supplements - A Great Natural Alternative to Diet Pills

6. Hunger stricken Turkana tribesmen embrace bee keeping business

Teasing Trivia

Q: How do bees pollinate plants?
A: As bees travel from blossom to blossom in search of nectar, they brush against the pollen-bearing parts of a flower (anther or stamen) and pick up pollen. When the honey bee goes to another flower for more food, some of the pollen from the first flower sticks to the second flower. In this way, the flowers are pollinated.

chinook honey