If you follow either of our businesses on social media, you may have noticed that Huckleberry Hives often works closely with Nith Valley Apiaries and vice versa, but perhaps you haven't heard the backstory of our relationship.
When I first began working with bees, it was via helping my brother, Mike. He had recently taken on the Nith Valley Apiaries operation and needed a retail assistant, honey bottler and general labourer. In the photo above, you can see Mike beekeeping and other scenes from around Nith Valley Apiaries while I worked there - I was the one behind the camera! As time passed I became a general manager of sorts, handling all kinds of things for Nith Valley Apiaries from the customer service and honey bottling to social media, events/tours and product development. I designed recipes for ginger honey, strawberry honey, turmeric ginger honey with black pepper and cayenne pepper, elderberry honey and pumpkin spice honey. I also started to work with the bees and as the years passed I became a beekeeper. In 2017, I began my own business here at Huckleberry Hives, slowly transitioning away from working at Nith Valley Apiaries, although I still pop in there for visits from time to time, and occasionally I take on a few hours here or there if their staff want some extra help that doesn't need much training or instruction.
In 2023, we collaborated on a joint product; Sweet Heat Honey. I had made sweet heat honey on my own for my little business but I wanted to get a more consistent product than was possible with my small batch processing system (which has limited equipment and space). Meanwhile, Nith Valley Apiaries had been getting lots of requests for a hot honey product. Thus with my recipe and the upgraded creaming facility at Nith Valley Apiaries' we decided the best solution was a collaborative product. Now you can get a lovely upgraded sweet heat honey that has delicious umami and savory flavours from the garlic along with a nice kick of heat from the chilis and other hot peppers we grow and dry to blend into it!
In addition to our collaboration product, I have also decided to stock a few other creamed flavoured honeys from Nith Valley Apiaries instead of making them all myself! The first of these is Bee Pollen Creamed Honey, the benefits of which you can read all about here. I'll also be stocking Ginger Creamed Honey and seasonally may include Pumpkin Spice and/or others of the flavoured honeys that Nith Valley Apiaries produces. Stocking these products instead of making everything myself makes it significantly easier to juggle all the balls I already manage with my beekeeping and I know I can stand behind these local products as if they are my very own creations since I designed many of the recipes. If you ever have a question about a Nith Valley Apiaries product (on my website or theirs) feel free to ask!
If you haven't yet, you can follow along with both of our businesses on our socials via instagram or facebook, just search for @huckleberryhives or @nithvalleyapiaries respectively. We look forward to continuing to work together as we grow our small farm businesses and thank you for your ongoing support of any and all local businesses!