There's a lot of hard work that goes into bringing fresh and natural honey to the Alliston Rurban Farmer's Market.
First of all, you've got a lot of bees that have to fly for miles to bring home the nectar. Once it's in the hive, it's up to the bee keeper to keep things in order and collect one of nature's most purist products.
Amanda Scott, marketing and retail manager for Innisfil Creek Honey at the Farmer's Market brings the product which includes honey, beeswax products, and other related items to the market every week.
Her brother-in-law, Brian Scott, is the beekeeper who runs the operation. He has over 800 hives located in Simcoe and York Region.
“Our farm is on the Tenth Sideroad of Cookstown,” Amanda explained. “We operate hives throughout South Simcoe and in York Region. We have around 850 hives – they're honey bees. The hives are located in different areas. We have hives at a conservation centre, private property, and apple orchards have our hives. They want the bees there for pollination. We get a lot of requests to put hives on private property.”
While many people think of honey as being the generic golden colour you find that is processed for consistency and placed on supermarket shelves, the taste and colour of honey can vary widely.
It all depends on which flowers the bees have been visiting.
“The wild flowers, like dandelions or clovers or apple orchards or the flowers that come out in the spring and summer produce the golden honey,” Amanda explained. “This one is buckwheat honey – the nectar of the flower is this colour,” she said while displaying a jar of very dark coloured honey. “To get this you have to put your hives in the middle of the buckwheat field. If you want buckwheat honey you have to do that because bees only travel around two kilometres from the hive. They'll only collect the nectar until that flower is then. Then they move to somewhere else.”
In addition to honey, Innisfil Creek Honey makes several other products from the honey, the wax, and honeycomb.
“We make honey, beeswax candles, soaps with honey, lip balms, body butter, natural deodorant and bug repellents,” Amanda explained. “We also have flavoured honey.”
Amanda brings the products to the Farmer's Market every week.
The Alliston Rurban Farmer's Market is open every Saturday through the summer from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times