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Almost immediately after the first harvest, many years ago, Sandve noticed something delicious about neighbourhood hives: each one tasted different. “It’s because whatever is in that neighbourhood, the bees are collecting,” he explains. “Some neighbourhoods have really nice streets lined with linden trees, or they’re near a ravine with lots of blackberries, or there’s a predominant [plant] in that area the bees like.

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Sticky, sweet, and delicious, British Columbia’s honey is an indulgence for food lovers. Each of the over 300 varieties of honey in North America can be a chef’s best weapon, a barista’s secret touch, and home cook’s finest ingredient. Here are three delicious ways you can try local honey in Vancouver: 1. Rain or Shine Ice Cream 1926 W 4th Ave, Vancouver BC The organic floral alfalfa honey from Aldergrove Farm, about 60km east of Vancouver, sweetens the honey lavender ice cream at Rain or Shine Ice Cream. Every scoop also features lavender is sourced from Tuscan Farms in Maple Ridge, BC. Refined and refreshing, the locally grown flavours work perfectly in tandem. 2. Tuc Craft Kitchen 60 W Cordova St, Vancouver BC At Tuc Craft Kitchen in Gastown, their supply of local honey is specially reserved for the cocktail bar. James, an owner…

Images by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran Seven years ago, Teresa Townsley and her husband Bill bought a 5-acre hobby farm in Langley, and got to work on delighting the palettes of wine lovers in BC and any visitor lucky enough to find them. From an unfenced grown-over lot next door to Campbell Valley Regional Park, the two of them have cultivated the land to mind horses; chickens; and best of all (for the rest of us), colonies of honey bees, which happen to help make some of the region’s most delicious varieties of mead. Festina Lente’s specialty is mead, or honey wine. Although it’s made by fermenting honey, the end result is not necessarily sweet. Varieties are smooth and crisp, some with herbal and fruit infusions. The unique coffee-infused mead, “Zephyr” and the lavender-infused “Flora” are absolute must-try flavours. Far from novelty, these meads are as sophisticated as…

By Jennifer Foden Have you ever passed by the honey stand at the farmers’ market and wondered why there are so many different colours of the sweet stuff? “Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers,” says Karin Giesbrecht of Lulu Island Honey, a family-owned beekeeping company from Richmond. “Different nectar sources mean different flavours, colours and aromas.” Crystallization also affects the colour (crystals cause honey to appear lighter), as well as the temperature outside (understandably, as there are different flowers in bloom in each climate and season.) The USDA classifies honey into seven colour categories: water white, extra white, white, extra light amber, light amber, amber and dark amber. Typically, honey that’s lighter in colour is milder in smell and taste; darker honey is stronger. Because there are so many different types of flowers all over the world that bees can collect nectar from, there are hundreds of varieties…

By Lenée Son Located in the agricultural centre of Surrey, 20 minutes from the USA border, the Honeybee Centre is buzzing with things to do and eat. As a commercial honey farm, the Centre produces their own natural honey which you can taste and purchase at their Country Store. They also have a Visitor Centre, where you can learn about the amazing world of the honeybee through a tour or beekeeping course. Their latest creation, Fry’s Corner Beestro, offers a divine dining experience in a modern greenhouse dining room. Whether you are a honey connoisseur, a beekeeping aficionado, or you are looking for an educational activity to bond over with your little ones, The Honeybee Centre has something for you. Fry’s Corner Beestro Indulge in a decadent honey inspired menu at the Honeybee Centre’s Fry’s Corner Beestro, a revamped modern greenhouse turned bistro. A favourite on their seasonal menu is…

by Kathy Mak Winter may seem an unlikely time to visit an outdoor farmers market in Canada, but the milder climate in the Lower Mainland allows the markets and abundance of seasonal products to thrive. Deserving of more recognition, a winter market’s appeal lies not only in the quality and range of offerings, but also in knowing that it’s served by a passionate community of both food artisans/farmers and shopping foodies, all prepared to brave the elements in support of fresh local products. The charm of a winter market is in the smaller and manageable crowds. With shorter line ups, there’s time to sample and chit-chat with merchants. Live entertainment, food trucks and heating stations are also on hand to add some extra warmth. To visit a winter market is to crave comfy and warming flavours. It’s easy to take inspiration for cozy dishes from the bounty of seasonal products…

By Tim Pawsey Most travelers are familiar with Abbotsford viewed from a busy stretch along Highway One, but even a few minutes detour off the road in either direction can lead to hours of entertainment fit for the whole family. Abbotsford is also easily accessible from Washington directly through the Sumas-Huntingdon Border Crossing. Coming from Vancouver, take exit 92 South and follow Clearbrook and Vye Roads to discover Maan Farms, a multi-faceted, small scale theme park that puts on a different, happy face according to the season. In fact, there’s so much to do that families often come here for a good part of the day. Drive up to the large parking lot and you might be greeted by a display of pumpkins or a cornucopian show of mouth-watering fruits and vegetables. However, there’s  more than meets the eye at this spacious farm market, where, while Mom and Dad are tasting…