Fernie & Elk Valley Culture Guide Fernie Cultural Guide FALL 2018 - Page 12

FEATURE BUSINESS Elk River Apiaries Deborah Davidson’s journey into apiculture began in 1995 when she responded to an ad looking for a beekeeper while studying in Vernon, BC. Her interest piqued, she stayed up until 5am reading library books on bee- keeping, and eventually followed the job to Fort St John. Later, she travelled to Tauranga, New Zealand and worked for a large honey producer where she also learned about bee breeding. In 2008, having returned to her hometown of Fernie and following a stint working at the local coal mine, Deborah was looking for a more natural lifestyle with her husband Doug as they 12 started their new family. Keen to revive her passion for bees, she began her own beekeeping business with just 4 hives. Now, thanks to friends and family who are happy to share their land with the bees, the business is thriving with a collection of around 100 colourful beehives dotted throughout the Elk Valley. Managing bee colonies in our variable climate is no easy feat. The winters here can be very long, and as bees rely on the food they store during the summer months, they will perish when these stores are depleted. While the business can produce around 5,000lb of honey