Bees in the Shuswap
Wow, 2002 seems like such a long time ago! Back then, my wife, Larissa, and I were both working at an intensive vegetable farm. A whole 50 acres of crops, run completely with Percheron horses! One afternoon, on our way home from said work, Larissa and I were approached by the horse farmer, Mike, who asked us what seemed at the time a crazy question,
"You ever thought about beekeeping?" he asked, "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. I spent some time working 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 it was in 2005 that 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 a seed orchard. Larissa's even been a Chicken Catcher! We've raised over a dozen goats that we've milked and butchered, and we continue to raise chickens for eggs and meat. Every fall, we harvest the bounty from our gardens and work to process and can fruits and vegetables alike. 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 now over 20 years into our beekeeping adventure. Thanks Mike, our life has been forever changed.