Eagle’s Nest Apiaries’ new Aussie beehive provides ‘honey on tap’

June 9, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Since 1955, Eagle’s Nest Apiaries on Hockey Road has been producing organic honey, but now has added a new method for making it.

The recently developed method is the Australian beehive, or “Honey on Tap”. A tube is put into the beehive, creating a tap that allows honey to flow from the hive into the jar. A clear glass frame, continuously used, allows you to see into the hive and when the honey is ready.

This harvests honey faster, hardly disturbing the bees. Common beehives require wearing protection from the bees, using a smoker to sedate them, physically removing the hive, brushing the bees off, scrapping the wax and extracting the honey. Not only time consuming, it disturbs the bees.

Henrijs Vilcinskis, who has owned the 50-acre apiary since 2002, currently has just one of these beehives, as they are expensive. Mr. Vilcinskis says he bought his from Australia for $800. Other prices range from $600 to $1000.

Mr. Vilcinskis, 68, left his home country Latvia for Canada in 1995. A beekeeper his whole life, (his father and grandfather were both beekeepers) he says business declined when his county separated from Russia.

His uncle told him to come to Canada, as more beekeepers were needed. He worked for Stanley Vasharach, original owner of Eagle’s Nest, also from Latvia, until he became the owner. “Stanley invited me to come and help him because he was too old and he knew me as a beekeeper.”

The apiary mainly has Italian honeybees, producing various honeys, including white, cream and amber.

Mr. Vilcinskis says last year and this year so far have been very good, the apiary hardly losing any bees, but described the previous five years as bad, losing many bees. He says both the amount of chemicals farmers use and pollution kill bees. “Look at how many cars, how many planes flying.”

Mr. Vilcinskis says bees are important for the environment and humans. Bee pollen contains various vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamins A, C, D, calcium and iron.

He says honey is the best antibiotic and that he doesn’t buy pills or medicine because of how healthy honey is. “This way I never ever in my life go to doctors.”

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