Our story

Let's start from the very beginning.

My name is Katie. I'm married to a man named Will Merchant. Seems fitting that we sell something, right? With the last name Merchant.... We are a family of four humans, two dogs, a snake, a ton of fish and about 4,000,000 honey bees. We have a house full of love, food and absolute chaos.... most of the time, we love it!

Our beekeeping journey started in the spring 2018, when the kids and I were eating lunch on our back deck. Charlie, our youngest son who was 2 and a bit at the time, went pale and had silent tears running down his sweet little face. Of course we comforted him and asked what was wrong. He was panicking because he thought there was a wasp on the table. It was a house fly but, nonetheless, he was truly afraid.  That was a real fear for him. As a parent, we decided that day, that we are going to work together and teach him there is nothing to be afraid of.... they're just bugs.  We believe that if there is something that you're afriad of, if you learn about it, it becomes less scary.

So, we decided to get honey bees. I took a course through ABC bees, and ordered our first little bee hive. That year we started with 2 hives (that's 20,000 bees on the first day!)

our first hive lesson.

My babes on the first day, not really impressed

I fell in looooooove. Beekeeping was my thing. To me, it's calming, quiets my mind and warms my soul. I couldn't get enough. I wanted to hug my hives every morning and talk about bees all day long. I, of course, wrangled my husband into doing a lot of the heavy lifting.... and guess what happened?? He also loved it. We were both all in for this new hobby. It was great. I truly wrangled in my entire family.

Mom and I on my first day of beekeeping

This is my mom and I on day one

Everyone saw the true love I had for beekeeping, so Will and my family gave me a birthday gift that would change my life. Ten hives, ten colonies and everything I needed to take care of them. It was a life changing day. 

Now the real work began. I needed to find somewhere for these ten hives to live because they cannot live at my suburban house in Calgary. We asked around and found a perfect place. Someone who worked for my mom at the time, her dads girlfriends parents had land in Millarville (one of those stories where someone knows someone who knows someone) and they were willing to have our hives on their property.... and the best part is that we get to pay them in honey. It was a dream come true. They are also the NICEST people and love our kids, so we're really winning there. 

We had about 12 ish hives (it fluctuates with the seasons) and with that come up to around 1000 lbs of honey. So we started gifting it to everyone and still had TONS left over. We made a post on our neighbourhood Facebook page and got a few bites. We were in business! 

That year we sold out! We had a real thing on our hands. We decided to double our hives and make even more so we could sell even more. We ended up that summer with 22 hives and about 1700 lbs of honey and we couldn't keep it in stock. Lucky us! 

Will with a beautiful frames full of honey

Will holding a frame full of honey 

I then got a Facebook message from a lady named Deb (Hi Deb!). She asked me if I could make her lemon flavoured honey. She said it was because she didn't like the taste of regular honey but she really like the benefits. Let the experimenting began. I tried about ten different recipes and it came out ok. She liked it, so I made more and worked on perfecting it. I'm now at recipe 18 ish and it is out of this world! The flavour ideas kept coming. I thought we'd try a spicy honey (because I love it on pizza) and cinnamon honey for toast. They were also really delicious. We got a request for lavender and made that. We had a start to a real flavour line up on our hands. We now have 12 solid flavours and keep coming out with seasonal ones. That spring I decided I wanted to try and sell 10000 jars of honey. I didn't know how I was going to do it but I was sure going to try. 

I decided to start applying for markets because we had over 1000lbs of honey to sell and why not get it out there. We found ourselves a cool communal commercial kitchen space, got ourselves into the market circuit and haven't stopped. 

Will and I at a market

Will and I goofing around at Market Collective 

We are now in full swing of selling honey and spreading our love of bees. We have participated in the Calgary Stampede and even been featured in a few magazines. We have taken on the role of trying to educate our local community about bees, and have done many presentation in sothern Albertas schools. We are working with local exterminators to help save wild bees when they are called to "get rid" of them, and placing them at local farms and greenhouses. 

Our award winning booth at the Calgary Stampede

We have worked had on making a product that is not only delicious but have real health benefits. We have even won an award for our Healing Honey! Thanks Avenue Magazine! 

The award ceremony for Avenue Magazines,

Made in Alberta award

We are so proud to do what we do, and try really hard leave a wave of kindness wherever we go. If you have ever seen us at a market, you may have gotten one of our "pay it forward" pins.

Our Charlie has now done a few hive inspections all on his own! We are over the moon for him and hope that he will take this lesson with him for the rest of his life. 

Charlie rockin a solo hive inspection in 2023

We really love what we do, and love teaching our kids how to work hard and show up every. single. day.

Our hives now live out in the country living their best life, while we're trying to do the same in our suburban home.         

 Our little apiary

Our perfect little apiary