It was a warm quiet Okanagan evening and as I sat out on the deck and watched a small car enter the driveway. A tall elderly gentleman unfolded from the car to sell a jar of honey. This seemingly insignificant gesture was the beginning of becoming the owners of “Arlo’s Honey Farm”.
As green as grass and armed with a beekeeping book my husband purchased – I jumped in and did my best. The bees have taught me many things, aside from a fast track education in beekeeping. The first lesson was patience and as one very good friend said, “Go slow Helen”. I have repeated this to myself many times over and not only in the bee yard. The bees have awakened my creativity, honed my entrepreneurial spirit and given us a new business; new friends and a deep compassion for bees in our environment.
Based on the philosophy “healthy bees are happy bees”, we strive to create a clean environment of minimum stress. We planted Dutch white clover, the base of our golden honey, and a long term nectar source, we gave them water lines for the long hot Okanagan summers, and built a compound to keep the bears at bay. We transformed our market garden around the bees needs by increasing berry crops, practising plant rotation and finding crops to span the three seasons. Critical times for the bees are early spring, dearth of mid summer and late fall.
Hundreds of crocus push in the barren spring to provide pollen, poppies sway in the hot summer wind and asparagus blooms into late September with asters, roses, and sedum. Blooms from calendula, nasturtiums, nicotina and cleome adorn the property all season long. With clean hives and a large variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables, the bees give us an abundance of honey, pollen, bees wax, and propolis.
Our honey is a two time award winner at the Inter Provincial Exhibition and our honey has been cherished as gifts in England, Germany, India, Malaysia, Japan and China.
We have opened our farm for you to enjoy the wonder of the honey bee and explore the goodness of honey and hive products. The Interpretation center is for your enjoyment and the Gift Shop is a euphoria of honey, honey products, our own Honey Recipe Book and Bee Basics, our natural and honey based products for skin care. Tours of the farm require an appointment. See Contact Us and book in advance to avoid disappointment.