Our Sweet Retreat
Since the beginning, we have often been asked by people if they could join us on the farm to help for a day or two. In response, we have had many people come out from many places to see a glimpse of what we do. It has always been a challenge trying to get the balance right. Things I need to think about; are they actually going to be helpful? What is their experience level? During the spring time we are very busy, and there are days when pollinating cherries as a 12 hour day looks short. Is this something done best in the spring when we are busy or in the summer or maybe the fall? I've actually had this page hidden on our website for a couple years, but year after year we have requests of this kind. Here is what we are proposing:
As stock producers, spring is our busiest time of year.; most years it is difficult to take a day off between mid April and Canada Day. This is the time of year that we need the most help. Duties this time of year include; making nucs, balancing colonies, raising queens and pulling queens. The spring is tightly scheduled and needs to be properly executed! We are looking for someone to be a part of all of that, so we are looking for acertain type of person to assist us. There will be an application process. All this said we want to stress this is not at all back breaking, long hours, nor is it miserable work! One of the reasons I like stock production is because it isn't back-breaking. No heavy honey boxes, no moving of heavy colonies, no moving large amounts of colonies on big trucks. I find this nice work. Although I may be working long hours, I won't expect the same from you. That being said, I will expect a full 40(ish) hour work week that goes from Monday morning until Friday afternoon.
What is in it for me? Well, what I need is the help, but what we are offering is 3-fold. Training, experience, and accommodation. The size of our outfit has slowly grown over the years, one baby-step at a time. For this season, we will come through winter with around 300 colonies. With these 300 colonies we plan on selling 500+ nucs and 1500+ queens. By the end of the season, we should have 400 colonies ready to go into winter. Your training will be under and with myself, my wife (Larissa), and our lead-hand Paul. You will have your own hive tool and smoker and you will be kept busy. You will be pulling and examining brood, handling queen rearing colonies, handling live queens and readying them for sale. Both your training and experience will be hands, there is no doubt about that. As things progress in the season we often pivot and have to roll with the punches, so there is no way that I can tell you for sure what each day will entail. You may end up putting equipment together with an 18 gauge stapler. But upon leaving on Friday, you will have a real crash course in what we do.
Regarding accommodation, you will stay in the rental cabin on our property. It is nicely finished, tiny, and has everything you'll need including a hot shower. We are only 2 km off the TCH and a short distance from multiple swimming beaches on the Shuswap Lake. Maybe you'd rather fish than swim? Again, we are mere minutes away from Skimikin Lake and White Lake. Maybe a bike ride sounds great? Bring your bike! It is a great area for biking. We're booking one week at a time, so you will have access to the cabin for 6 1/2 days. Despite a full week, you will have time to explore the area. Depending on the start times of the days, we will try to have you finished the day between 3:30-4:30. This means after a nice day of work, you will still have time to make a stop at our local Co-Op and have a picnic at Heralds Provincial Park. We will also make sure that the cabin contains a few local treats and some farm fresh eggs.
We are excited to offer this experience so that you can not only develop a passion for beekeeping, but enjoy the Shuswap region of the province. You may be interested in becoming a small commercial beekeeper or learning about sustainable agriculture. Perhaps your simply curious about the path from the farm to your plate, or seeking a holiday that provides a bit of adventure. Whatever your reason, our Sweet Retreat will provide a unique enjoyable experience you're not likely to forget.
Our cabin is tiny, but it will comfortably handle 2 people so if you want to come out with a friend or spouse that is fine. Unfortunately being 240 sq ft, it makes it pretty tight for any more than 2.
Our Sweet Retreat is running weekly from April 10th until June 17th. We do have an application process below and will be selecting who is right for this opportunity. We may consider other dates if you are interested. Please connect with us if you have any questions!
DATES & PRICING for 2023
April 10th - 15th
April 17th - 22rd
April 24th - 29th
May 1st - 6th - sold out.
May 8th - 14th
May 15th - 20th- sold out.
May 22nd - 27th- sold out.
May 29th - June 3rd- sold out.
June 5th-10th - sold out.
June 12-17th - sold out.
$1145 per week + gst ($57.25) = $1202.25