Honey Week set to take off Aug. 27
Abbey Gardens is buzzing with activity as staff prepares for their first Honey Week, starting Monday, Aug. 27.
Celebrating bees, their role in pollination and the delicious honey they produce, the week is packed with activity for kids and adults.
“We’re bringing in beekeepers to do an introduction to beekeeping workshop. We’re bringing in a speaker about wild pollinators. Lisa Barry is going to do pottery workshops where people get to make a honey pot to take home,” says Cara Steele, program co-ordinator at Abbey Gardens, listing just a few of the many planned events.
A beekeeper social is planned to take place at Haliburton Highlands Brewing, to “connect beekeepers in the area so they can share advice or stories, share sources about where they get their equipment,” she says. The brewery is also doing a honey in beer workshop.
Some of the week’s events are highly structured, such as workshops and guest speakers, and others will be available to anyone who pops by.
“There will be a honey tasting station at the food hub every day to go through to compare honeys where bees have foraged on different types of flowers. It really does alter the taste,” Steele says.
Storytime and crafts in the gardens are planned for children.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, the Food Hub will be preparing a honey themed menu all week.
Abbey Gardens has bee hives on the property, which staff have been learning about from Honey From The Hills owners and beekeepers Ray Martin and Juliette Arseneault, who have been in business for three years and assisting Abbey Gardens since this spring.
“We facilitated the introduction of nucleus colonies (basically a small hive to establish a colony) in spring 2018 and have been training AG staff on what to look for and how to manage their bees,” said Martin and Arsenault in an email to the paper.
The bees at Abbey Gardens are Apis mellifera carnica, they said, “known to be able to withstand tougher winters, have smaller winter clusters so they need less food stores for the winter, are good honey producers and are better at foraging in a forest setting than some of its ‘cousins’ or other subspecies.”
Steele said the week will bring attention to the importance of honey bees as well as wild bees by highlighting how to protect them, how honey is made and appreciating their place in the ecosystem.
Events include a honey extraction demonstration, introduction to beekeeping, native bee talk, beeswax candle making workshop, pottery workshops, kids’ scavenger hunt, story walk for kids, honey tasting station, honey beer workshop and beekeeper social.
As a special treat, if kids come dressed as a bee, they will receive a special surprise from Abbey Gardens.
To find out more, go to abbeygardens.ca. Some workshops include a fee, while other activities are free. You can register on the website under the programming tab. Call 705-754-4769 for more. Abbey Gardens is located at 1012 Garden Gate Drive off Highway 118 near West Guilford.
Honey Week is sponsored by BMO Financial Group.