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Fall’s Bounty 2023: Buzzing, sweet business Gull Lake Honey continues to thrive

A special supplement to Black Press Media central Alberta newspapers
(Photo submitted/Alida Prinn)

From 700 hives to 2,500 colonies of bees in five years, Gull Lake Honey is a family-run farm which continues to grow.

While things at Gull Lake Honey are buzzing now, the dream of starting the business took a lot of hard work and dedication, co-owner of Gull Lake Honey Alida Prinn said.

“My husband grew up on this farm and when we got married we had a 20/20 vision that we would move back to the family farm and start something there,” Prinn said.

While originally the pair didn’t know what they would do with the farm, the opportunity to buy some bee hives came up in early 2018.

“We just saw it as the chance we were looking for,” Prinn said.

At the time, the couple had no experience in beekeeping but worked alongside some other beekeepers to gain some knowledge on how to care for bees.

“We committed to it 100 per cent and jumped into the deep end,” she said, giving the credit for most of their growth to her husband.

“Lorne said when we quit our jobs to do beekeeping that we were going to make every second count and he set up project timelines.”

During the first two years of operating Gull Lake Honey, they built their own facility capable of running 4,500 hives.

Throughout the year Gull Lake Honey sells the two types of floral honeys they produce, honey from other beekeepers in different parts of Canada and flavoured honeys.

“The most common honey we sell the majority of is our plain creamed honey. Then as far as flavoured honey, our cinnamon flavour is our number one.”

Harvesting the honey to sell it is very labour intensive, Prinn said.

“When the flow is on you need to be harvesting, you need to keep the bees busy, you need to get the honey off the hives otherwise it is detrimental to the hive and to your production. So like any harvest you work long hours and you go until it is done.”

Though intense, the harvest is only a small part of Gull Lake Honey’s business, lasting only two months out of 10.

“The rest of the time is spent keeping the bees healthy and preparing them to go into, or out of, winter,” Prinn said.

Knowing where your food comes from and supporting local is very important, Prinn said.

“I think it is important for people to know what is in their food and where it comes from. Whether they buy it directly from us on our farm or they go through the grocery store.”

Individuals who are interested in going to Gull Lake Honey are welcome to visit the farm to walk around, watch the extraction and try some delicious honey any time, Prinn said.

“If you haven’t had any of our honey before give it a try and you’ll never go back.”

This article is part of Black Press Media’s award-winning special supplement publication, “Fall’s Bounty 202: A salute to central Alberta farmers and harvest.” The pullout section was published in print editions at the end of September. Find more Fall’s Bounty 2023 stories here.

Sarah Baker

About the Author: Sarah Baker

I joined Black Press in March 2023 and am looking forward to sharing stories about the local communities.
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