Alberta Open Farm Days has come and gone this past weekend (August 17-18), and there were a few local farms participating.

One of the farms is the famous Chinook Honey Company who've set up shop just a little outside of Okotoks.

Co-owner and "Queen Bee" of the Chinook Honey Company, Cherie Andrews says their apiary has been up and running for twenty-five years now.

"We have had this apiary going for, probably for over twenty five years and then we did open up to the public in 2004. Our on farm retail has been a great way to connect with our customers."

Andrews says opening up her farm to the public and having a retail component to it has really helped her connect with her customers.

"We wanted to stay small. You know there's big dollars involved in more large scale industrial agriculture but, being able to connect one on one with customers is huge, and that's where we really like to put the emphasis. Also in the case of honey bees for education, we love to educate people about bees."

Andrews says harvesting honey is quite a bit different than harvesting other agricultural products.

"It's pretty straight forward you take frames out of the hive, these frames are full of honey but they're capped with a layer of wax so first you've got to remove that wax cover then, you put it in an extractor and with centrifugal force the honey is forced out, and then you harvest it off the bottom of the extractor."

Andrews says they've been participating in Alberta Open Farm Days on and off for the past five years.


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