The Chinook Honey Company is giving people a chance to get up close and personal with the busy bees that keep their popular foothills honey farm buzzing.
Located three and a half kilometres west of Okotoks off of Highway 7, Chinook Honey offers visitors Apiary and Meadery tours from May 6 through September.
In their Discovery Centre knowledgeable guides give talks about the amazing bees, their colony structure and how the honey is harvested. The observation hive lets you spy on the private lives of the bees up close and a video portrays the year of a beekeeper from spring to fall.
“We hope to educate people about the honey bees and their importance in our world,” said owner Cherie Andrews. “And it’s fascinating to watch the bees at work, oblivious to our presence.”
Depending on the time of year you could witness the queen laying eggs, the worker bees coming in with pollen or nectar, bees feeding the young brood and perhaps even watch as young bees emerge from their wax comb. There is also a lot of buzz about the award winning mead produced by Chinook Arch Meadery Alberta’s first honey winery. Mead may be the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man, but Cherie says that Albertans are re-discovering this unique honey wine and what makes it different from its grape-based cousin.
Chinook Honey’s expanding roster of meads includes summer favourites such as Black & Blue, a melomel mead with the punch of black currants married to soft & sweet blueberries, or the more traditional Guinevere’s Elixir, with its bold citrus nose with silky, floral notes and an off-dry finish. Sampling is always available in the store at their newly expanded tasting bar and you can take a meadery tour to learn how they have translated the ancient art of making mead into modern-day practices.
Of course The Chinook Honey Company’ country store also offers a wide variety of honey and other honey-based products. They include honey jams and spreads, health and body care products, gift items, and even their own delicious honey ice cream. Their decadent Chocolate Honey Ganache is something you won’t want to miss!
From May 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Horde at the Hive takes over with a Viking village to browse for family fun. Check out the crafters market or take in an epic live-action battle reenactment.
For tour times and other info, see www.chinookhoney.com. Tours for groups of 10 to 50 people can be accommodated but must be booked in advance.