The K-Lane Kennels Honey Bee Project
We were Saskatchewan's first commercial facility to generate 100% of our energy needs through geothermal and solar systems, and now we have a totally different pilot project - flower power. We've got honey bees – plant pollinating, wax wielding, pollen packing, honey-making bees!
After taking the Beginner Beekeeper Course offered through the Saskatchewan Beekeepers' Association and Regina and District Bee Club, in conjunction with the provincial Agriculture Ministry, we installed our first hives in spring 2016. We learned the basics of bee welfare, which are coincidentally similar to the five freedoms of animal welfare – providing food/water, a suitable shelter, preventing disease, allowing bees to be bees, and avoiding suffering. (And, instead of preventing homeless puppies, we need to avoid homeless bees – who swarm.) Our local beekeepers' association is amazing, providing a wealth of support, information and mentorship. We continued down the education path by taking the Saskatchewan Beekeepers' Association Intermediate and Queen Rearing classes in 2017, and Louise was elected to the Regina and District Beekeepers Association Board of Directors in 2017.
Our property is 12.5 acres, and our wee apiary is located away from the kennel yard near our home. Our bees enjoy a delightful nectar and pollen buffet of our neighbours' canola and alfalfa fields, and our own pin cherries, chokecherries, crab apples, caraganas, raspberries, and our large vegetable, herb and flower gardens. And because bees love it, we're also experimenting with borage and sunflowers this summer.
Our first goal is to keep our tiny new amigos alive, so we're learning all we can about preventing disease and keeping them healthy. Hopefully, it'll all go well and they'll produce a bit of honey. We'll let you know how it all goes. Other than going buzzzz buzzzzzz buzzzz, of course.