Thursday 1 November 2012


What a miserable month this has been!  Chilly and grey.  I thought we'd have more Fall to clean up the yard for winter.  Didn't happen but, the bees have all been wrapped for the winter and we wait till spring to see how they did.

We still have honey for sale for all those that might be looking for it.

Thursday 20 September 2012


Last drums of honey were shipped out today.  Overall, it turned out to be a pretty good summer.  I was having my doubts with all the wet weather in between the sun.  Now it's time to clean up all the equipment and prepare the bees for winter.

Saturday 18 August 2012


Pails are filling. Come and get 'em! We are open Friday to Monday as long as I am home (sometimes we've gone swimming in the creek and occasionally we even need groceries...), so phone in advance and make sure we're around. We'd love to see you!

Sunday 5 August 2012

2012 Honey Sales

We should have fresh honey for sale in a couple of weeks!

Our honey is a clover/alfalfa blend which produces a white honey with a mild flavour. We do not process our honey more than what is required to get it into containers. It is kept at natural hive temperatures or cooler at all times. Prior to filling containers the honey is allowed to settle which lets large particles (mainly wax) float to the top of the honey tank. We then pass the honey through a screen to remove any last wax and bee bits. It satisfies the requirements for "raw" food, as far as I know.

If you come out to the farm to pick up honey, it may still be liquid so be careful the containers don't tip over on your way home! By the beginning of September, most of the honey will have started to crystallize into its natural state (the liquid honey you buy in the supermarket is heat-treated and filtered to retain its liquid consistency).

2012 prices are:
7 kg (15 lbs 7 oz) $38.00
3 kg (6.6 lbs) $22.00
1 kg (2.2 lbs) $9.00

Farm Gate sales are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday - anytime. BUT please call in advance to make sure we're not down at the creek!
E-mail: modestecreekhoney at gmail DOT com
Phone: (780) 542-2556

Positive energy from a local honey house - Drayton Valley Western Review - Alberta, CA

We were recently featured in the local newspaper for a grant we received from the Alberta government Growing Forward Program along with friends from Dandelion Renewables who installed our solar photo-voltaic system. We are now generating 5 kV of electricity from the sun! Very cool. And very neat to watch our energy usage on the software that is included with the installation.

Positive energy from a local honey house - Drayton Valley Western Review - Alberta, CA

Saturday 28 July 2012

First Round

Almost finished pulling (that means picking up the boxes with the honey in them) our first round of harvest and maybe halfway done extracting it.  Things are looking nice this year in between the torrential rainfalls. Phenomenal amount of white dutch clover out there. Some of the bee yards are going full on. I've had to balance a couple of boxes on my head while loading the truck--just pooped out during the lift since they were so heavy. That can be quite messy.  Some days (if I had the energy) I think that if I ran at a wall and jumped, I would just stick to it with all the honey and propolis coating me. Well, on second thought, I'd probably just leave a sticky schmeer down the wall...  Then I'd have to clean that up...

We generally start packaging during the second round. That way we get the dandelion honey out of the way in the first round. I keep meaning to pull the dandelion earlier, but never seem to be able to get to it. So those of you waiting for honey-- its coming!

The kids have been indulging in some of the comb honey I scavenge for them. I really enjoy the first honey of the season. This year I scraped some burr comb off of a hive lid to get some tasty dandelion honey. It's got a heady aroma, a beautiful golden colour and a bit of bite to it--definitely not for the clover lovers out there.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Tiny Visitors

It seems that there are a lot of little insects around lately and they really like our white potentilla. I found over ten different species in about 30 seconds, but I couldn't get photos of them all. There were big bumblebees, tiny native bees, hover flies, beetley things, and others.

Little bumblebee.
Hover fly  - this is a wasp mimic, but don't be fooled
 - no antenna - no stinger!

Look at this little native bee and the amount of pollen it has packed into its pollen pockets. Incredible!

This is a bumblebee nest out behind the honey house. I was hoping the queen would step out for a photo shoot, but she was camera shy. This nest is just a compact little ball of grass about 15 cm in diameter. There are little openings in the grass that she uses as a nest entrance. We put the wooden hive lid back over her nest to keep her protected. She has a nice little spot back there.

Tuesday 10 July 2012


Well, this year has been memorable so far. We have not had a bear problem for at least 10 years and this spring we had three yards hit.  Some more than once.  Lost a few hives and equipment, but nothing really horrific.  We set up electric fences around the yards, which is working so far.  A friend showed us a picture of a grizzly taken about a mile from one of the yards, but we don't think that was the bear causing us trouble. The game warden came out and set up a bear trap and a trail camera in one of the yards, but he never got a picture.  We think we zapped the bear with the electric fence and she went away before he got the trap set.  The bear came back a couple of weeks later, but we still had the electric fencer on (solar).  You could see all the grass trampled where she had been.

Not exactly Winnie the Pooh!

Friday 11 May 2012

It's lovely to see the sun and all the green sprouting everywhere. With the mild winter we had and a nice spring so far, it looks as if we had good wintering success and are looking forward to summer. This spring we've been busy making hive splits and putting out queens. There's lots of pollen in the willows to feed the baby bees and I'm sure the dandelions are ready to pop.

Peter's rubber arm has been twisted by his sweet little niece and he's going to do a presentation for her preschool pretty soon. Here's a quick pic of some of his supplies. (I love the smell of beeswax - it is the quintessential smell of summer for me, a beekeeper's daughter). Peter carefully melted some of our clean wax and poured it out into a sheet that he scored to break into little rectangles for the children to model into little bees. It's soooo lovely.

We've had lots of calls for honey this spring but unfortunately (or fortunately??) we sold out of last year's crop late this winter, so you're all just going to have to wait until August. We are very sorry to have none left, and at the same time relieved, as we would much rather sell you lovely fresh honey this summer!

Happy Spring!

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Winter 2012

We are now completely sold out of honey.  I'd like to thank all of you who helped us to sell out this year.

For those of you without honey, we usually have honey for sale early August.  You might have to do like I did last year and buy it from a store.  Yup, I ran out of my own honey last year.  We had friends from New Zealand show up last spring and we were lucky to find a small container I used to catch drips to share with them.

This year I made sure that my secret stash was much larger...