It's about that time of year where we start hearing from the birds and the bees, and today I wanted to say a thing or two about bees.
There has been a lot of buzz in the news latley about the declining populations of bees. The theories seem to be pointing to pesticides and chemicals used in agriculture and other industrial processes. Just another reason why organic farming is great. And the Okanagan is a perfect place to do just that.
Bees are important for the fruit and vinyard industries in the Okanagan, and because of this, there are a lot of people excited about bees in the area. Bees Incorporated is an organization offering courses and supplies for people wating to learn more about bees or perhaps start looking after their own hive. They will also come and help if you have an unexpected swarm of bees arrive on your property. The Okanagan Bee Farm also has resources and small hives, or nucs, for sale.
Not only are bees essential for the pollonation of our fruit trees and grape vines in the Okanagan, but we also love them for their honey and wax, and the nutritional benefits of bee pollen. The Vernon Farmers Market is a great place to find locally made honey, bees wax candles, and bee pollen.
If you are not sure if you are ready to start your own hive, but would like to see what is involved in bee keeping, Planet Bee is a great place to visit. Not only does it have a fantastic view overlooking Okanagan lake, but they have honey tasting every day, all day, where you can try up to 15 differnt flavors of honey. Sweet!
Urban bee keeping is also gaining some ground in British Columbia. So if you are not ready to start your own little farm, but would like to have a bee hive as part of your garden, that's possible too. If you are interested in learning more about urban or rural bee keeping in Vernon, contact me. I am happy to offer information about the zoning rules for beekeeping in and around the Vernon area.