The Chinook Honey Company was buzzing this past weekend, but this time it was more vikings than bees that were causing all the excitement.

The  apiary was transformed into a viking village to celebrate viking culture as well as the vikings' connection to mead, a type of honey wine.

Chinook Honey Company co-owner and event organizer Cherie Andrews says visitors to the third annual Horde at the Hive could take in viking battle re-enactments as well as learn about viking culture and trades.

 "This year it was excellent because they were able to incorporate archery," she says. "Up until now it's mainly just been sword work but the archery was also quite interesting. And then they had great examples of different crafts and trades that were common in that era, such as blacksmithing and woodworking."

Andrews says that the link between humans and mead stretches back thousands of years. She says honey was commonly used in the viking era and mead was an offshoot of that.

"Honey, water and yeast are the main components of mead," she explains. "So you can just imagine that it was a fairly easy mix but also something that would help get the battle going perhaps and maybe add to some bravery for the warriors, you never know."

Viking battle re-enactments were provided by about 25 members of Vikings Vinland in historical costume. She says although the excitement of the battles drew large crowds, another event may have stolen the show.

"After the battle re-enactment, they have the kiddie battle so the children are all armed with foam pool noodles and they get to battle the warriors," Andrews says. "So that is hugely popular, definitiely a draw. It's a mob of youngsters after these big guys in their armour, it was pretty funny."

Anyone who missed this year's event will have another chance to take it in next year. Andrews says plans are already in the works for the fourth annual Horde at the Hive.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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