Bees in the Shuswap
Wow, 2002 seems like such a long time ago! It was when my wife Larissa and I were both working at an intensive vegetable farm... 50 acres run completely with Percheron horses. One afternoon on our way home, we were approached by the horse farmer, who asked "You ever thought about beekeeping? After all, you're both into the whole goat farming, back-to-earth thing". Little did I realize that not only would I discover a new-found passion, but that our lives and livelihood would take a drastic turn.
After visiting our local library and diving into a few old black and white beekeeping books, I was hooked. I spent the next three years working for different commercial beekeeping operations. I pollinated crops in the North Okanagan and the Fraser Valley and also worked for a stock producer raising and selling queen bees and nucleus colonies. I then successfully completed the Bee Masters short course at SFU and the John Gates 'Queen Rearing Course'. Shortly thereafter I took on employment with the Ministry of Agriculture as the local bee inspector for the area.
With all of this new-found knowledge and experience, Larissa and I embarked on a new journey, making the choice to open our own commercial operation, and in 2005 Sweetacre Apiaries was born.
Over the years, Larissa and I together have acquired a lot of agricultural experience. We have worked on dairy & vegetable farms, in commercial greenhouses, at a tree nursery and also a seed orchard. Larissa's even been a chicken catcher !! We've raised over a dozen goats which we've milked and butchered, and continue to raise chickens for eggs and meat. Every year we avidly garden, process and can our bounty. Working on both sides of agriculture, we've developed a passion for what we do and we're eager to teach and share.
Looking at this now we are 18 years into our beekeeping adventure. Thanks Mike, our life was forever changed.