- Field Trips/Visits
Our beekeeping operations are a fundamental part of our business and is how Honeybee Centre began in 2000. We have two primary goals for our beekeeping operations, providing pollination services to local fruit growers, and producing several varieties of specialty honeys, which we sell in our Country Store. Our beekeeping operations are based out of our facilities in Surrey, BC which includes a workshop, equipment storage facilities, CFIA approved honey extraction facilities, and honey storage facilities.
Honeybee Centre provides pollination services to a number of fruit crops in the lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia. We have grown to be the largest pollinator of blueberries in western Canada with over 5,000 colonies provided annually to local blueberry growers. After the blueberry pollination season has completed, we provide pollination services to raspberry and cranberry growers. We also pollinate other fruit crops including strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, pumpkin, zucchini, and squash on a smaller scale. Honeybee Centre provides pollination services to more than 100 growers who produce more than $50 million worth of fruit annually. Learn more About Pollination.
Our pollination business allows us to produce a number of specialty "mono-floral" honeys. These honeys are made predominantly with nectar from a single type of blossom. For example, when pollinating blueberry plants, the bees collect nectar from blueberry blossoms and make "blueberry blossom honey". When we move our colonies into blueberries for pollination, we add an empty honey super (box for the bees to make honey) on each colony. Upon removing our colonies from the blueberry fields, we remove the honey supers and extract the blueberry blossom honey from the frames. Each nectar source provides honey with a unique, colour, flavour, aroma, and texture. Learn more About Honey.
Through our beekeeping operations, we produce a number of specialty honeys including:
- Blueberry blossom
- Raspberry blossom
- Cranberry blossom
- Blackberry blossom
- Pumpkin blossom
- Clover & Alfalfa
- Wildflower (from multiple nectar sources)
At Honeybee Centre, our beekeeping season starts on February 15th. We open up every beehive and check to see if there is a healthy queen and a strong population of worker bees. If a colony is weak, we combine two or more colonies together to make one strong one. If the bees are hungry, we feed them with frames of honey that we have kept in storage just for that purpose.
In late April, all of our bees are moved into blueberry fields, where they fly from flower to flower pollinating the plants so that the grower can benefit from a higher yield. By the first week of June, some of our bees are moved to cranberry fields, some to raspberry fields, and some up to the Peace River region where they make a white honey predominantly from clover and alfalfa flowers.
During the summer, beekeepers ensure that colonies do not swarm by providing sufficient room for the queen to lay eggs and for the colony to expand. Throughout the season, we gather specialty honey from as many plants as possible, including blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, clover, and wild flower. At the end of summer, beekeepers harvest surplus honey allowing the bees to keep sufficient food storage for the coming winter.
By September all of the bees are back in their wintering yards in Surrey and Langley. Other than one brief check in November, we leave the bees alone until the following February.
Learn more About Beekeeping.
You never see a beekeeper because wintering yards are kept hidden from the public due to the misconception that honeybees are dangerous. You never see a beekeeper because bees are moved only at night time, when all of the bees have come home from foraging. And finally, you never see a beekeeper because from September to February, there is nothing to do so all beekeepers live in Hawaii.
During the late spring to early fall, our beekeepers are available to provide honeybee and wasp nest and honeybee swarm removal services. Learn more.