I’ve had a few people ask if I’ll be at the Downtown Market this summer. Sadly, I decided not to attend this year. Instead, you can find me the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market every weekend year round.
It’s been a while since I refreshed this page but rest assured I’m still very actively beekeeping and selling honey at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
Similar to many farms in the area, the weather was a challenge for us here at Beanstalk Honey this year. April was very cold and then in May we went straight into a hot summer. Overall, it was an exceedingly hot and dry summer, with less than two inches of precipitation from May to September in my main beeyards and on our alfalfa fields. However, I’ve heard many areas received more moisture and in those areas the bees did quite well this season.
It is interesting having bees: they are a window into the effects of climate on plants. Hot, dry weather prompted the plants to all bloom earlier and intensively this year. Instead of groups of plant species blooming successively throughout the season, thereby providing bees with nectar and pollen all summer, many of the species bloomed together and earlier. This meant the build-up of the bee population coming out of winter was out of sync with the main nectar flow. This year, my bees reached peak population just at the end of the main nectar flow, which ended several weeks earlier than usual. This pattern has resulted in greatly reduced honey yields for the beekeeper (me, unfortunately).
The flip side of early, compressed nectar and pollen flows is we’ve experienced a nectar and pollen dearth for the bees in the last two Augusts, as have many other beekeepers right across Canada. We are learning to adapt our beekeeping management to address the shifting and compression of pollen and nectar flow dates; unfortunately a lot of the adaptation relies on supplementing the bee’s natural diet with human-made pollen and nectar replacements. I have a few ideas to try next year; I’ll let you know how they go!
Thanks for checking in!
I’ll have a stall at Edmonton’s Seedy Sunday on March 18th. I’ll be selling my usual varietal honey and I’ll also have some beeswax. I’m looking forward to getting some seed for my garden this spring! Go to http://www.edmontonseedysunday.org to get the details.
Apparently it’s not spring yet… we woke up this morning to another few inches of snow. This is in addition to last week, when we got around 7 inches. Yes, the date is April 24th! The bees are just waiting to get out there and snag the aspen and willow pollen. I thought I’d post a few rare photos!
Heads up: Beanstalk Honey is in a new location this month at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market.
We’ll now be on the west wall between Happy Camel and Little Jack Horner Meat Pies. This weekend we’ll have fresh pollen, comb honey, and the last fresh honey of the season. We’ll be at the Downtown Market this weekend and next and then we’ll just be at the Old Strathcona Market. We decided not to go into City Hall this year, although it’s a great market in there.
Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know I won’t be at the Downtown Market tomorrow. I’m taking a week off! I’ll be back for every week in December, though, so I’ll see you then.
I’ve got fresh Wildflower Honey now! It’s a darker honey, with a nice and mellow caramel taste. It’s completely raw and unprocessed, and may even come complete with the odd flake of wax.
I wanted to apologize about spreading misinformation! I said in a previous post I would be at the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market every week until Thanksgiving. That’s not correct! I have an outdoor stall there, along the east wall of the building. That makes me really easy to find and access, once you know I’m there.
However, the Market is only having the outdoor stalls when there are not special events happening. This past Saturday was Artwalk so I wasn’t at the Market. Similarly, I won’t be there for the two weeks of the Fringe Festival, August 15 and 22. But I will be there every other week!
On occasion, I will be at the Salisbury Market in Sherwood Park this year. My main market is the City Market Downtown. I will always be there.