I have always loved honey. Growing up my Great Grandmother would always put a heaping spoonful into my cup of earl grey tea, and then she’d sneak a spoonful right into my mouth too if my mom wasn’t looking. Smiling at her as the honey melted on my tongue will forever remain one of my very favourite childhood memories.
Flash forward, and I still consume SO MUCH honey as an adult: in tea, on toast, and when I’m sick or have a cough a spoonful of raw honey mixed with cinnamon always does the trick. I’m always looking for new local honey companies to support with my sweet habit (it’s a LOT of support haha) and I was so excited to find The Heritage Bee Co. at the One of a Kind Show last Christmas!
The Heritage Bee Co. is owned by the most adorable couple ever, Debbie and Jeff. Together they left the world of finance in Toronto to do something good for the world instead – beekeeping! They bought a beautiful farm a couple hours outside of Toronto, studied everything they could about honeybees , and eventually launched The Heritage Bee Co.
I took an immediate liking to this sweet pair and their beautiful brand, and we became Instagram friends over the months to follow. When I returned to the Spring One of a Kind show and they met Summer Honey Rose they invited us up to their farm for dinner, a bee lesson, and a tour of their apiary!
A couple of months later we packed up the car and made our way to the bees. It’s no wonder The Heritage Bee’s Apiary Tours are almost always fully booked – Johanna and I learned SO much about the bees, and Jeff and Debbie’s passion for the industry and the environment was seriously contagious! Did you know that bees can be rented out to pollinate huge fields of mono crops en-mass, and that’s where most of the honey industry’s money comes from… not honey? This often leads to bee illness and cross-contamination, just like any other large-scale factory farming. The best way to avoid supporting this is to purchase both diverse, heirloom, local fruits and veggies, and to support small, local honey producers whose bees are free to pollinate on their own terms!
My favourite bee facts of the day were all about the hive hierarchy and the queen. Basically the boys have very little value and are often sent to the edges of the hive to die off first in case of a cold front or an attack. The queen bees are chosen when a replacement queen is needed, and fed a diet of royal jelly over a very specific time frame to become a queen (aka develop ovaries!) The new queen then takes a flight on a warm sunny day and mates with as many male bees as possible, saving the semen in her body to self inseminate over her lifetime! There are no dad bees in hive society, and the daughters essentially run the whole operation. Like Debbie said, Summer’s name including “Honey” had a lot more meaning than I had planned!
We were so inspired by our time with The Heritage Bee Co. that we went home and made a honey-sweetened popsicle recipe with their Vanilla Honey to share here. Think golden latte meets summer popsicle goodness!
Scroll down for the recipe!
Golden Vanilla Honey Popsicles //
half can of full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup regular coconut milk
1 tablespoon Golden Milk latte mix, or try making your own honey chai syrup with turmeric
2 tablespoons vanilla honey
makes 6 popsicles
Blend all ingredients together in a high power blender or food processor.
Spray your popsicle mould with a non-stick spray if it is not made of silicone.
Pour into popsicle moulds and place in the freezer, set a timer for 35 minutes.
When the timer goes off, place popsicle sticks in the centre of each mould, leaving halfway out. We use this method to ensure the sticks don’t ‘bob’ out of place or sink too far into the popsicles.
Wait at least 24 hours for popsicles to fully freeze, and serve immediately!