Hundreds of beekeepers from around the province buzzed into town over the weekend to learn the latest about raising those vital honey-producing pollinators.
It was the annual general meeting and conference of the B.C. Honey Producers Association, called Hive’n and Thrive’n and was held at the Best Western Hotel in Kelowna.
It included the annual competition amongst beekeepers for the best honeys, bees wax, frames of honey or comb, pollen and meads.
Although the top prizes went out of town, with the Premier Honey Award going to Mike Cober of the 108 Mile Ranch and People’s Choice to Amanda Goodman Lee of Honey Bee Zee Apiaries of New Westminster, the mead (a fermented honey beverage) with the highest points in the show went to Judie Barta’s Meadow Vista Mabon, of Kelowna.
It also won first place for metheglin or spiced mead, and Meadow Vista’s non-carbonated sweet mead, its apricot, took first place as well, tied with Planet Bee Honey Farm and Meadery in Vernon.
In the non-carbonated dry mead category, Meadow Vista took first place for its Libra honey wine, while Planet Bee Meadery took second and third place.
Judge Keith Rae of Vernon said it was great to have so many entries brought to the convention and trade show this year. Honey entries ranged in colour from water white to dark, with all shades in between, he said.
“The vast variety in tastes and colours of the honeys from different regions of B.C. and floral sources was exquisite,” he commented.
The other local winner was Claudette Lamont of West Kelowna, who took third place in the white honey category.
Delegates also learned about bee management, instrumental insemination of bees, bees’ future and agriculture, research that’s ongoing at UBC, hive health, the healing powers of honey and greening the apiary.