By Tim Kalinowski
Neubauer Farms near Medicine Hat will be hosting its successful follow-up event to last year’s Farm to Table fundraiser on Aug. 24, but this time the focus will be bees and honey.
Entitled “Bees and Bevies Night,” the event will bring guests to Neubauer Farms to sample fresh honey, engage in some beautiful art, sip some honey-based beverages, learn about beekeeping and commune together in the evening air under the rising stars.
“We want to provide an educational event that is also entertaining,” says organizer Nichole Neubauer. “And also something very unique. We will have a centralized pickup location for our guests. Everyone will get on a bus and come to the farm to minimize traffic and parking. As soon as they come there will be some refreshments, some bevies and some appetizers, available, and we are going to do an information session about bees.
“Then we will tap the flow hive and get some honey flowing. We are going to have a honey tasting so folks can try different kinds of honeys. We will allow people to see how honey tastes different based on the types of flowers it is harvested from.
“Then we are going to have Painter Girl,” Neubauer adds, “and we will be creating works of art together so everyone will have their own souvenir of the evening they will be able to take home with them.”
Tickets for “Bees and Bevies Night” are $85 each, but seating is limited to only 40 people.
Neubauer, who is well-known farm educator in the province, says the money raised from the event will support the “Be Aware” program in local schools, which aims to help kinds understand the importance of bees to the Canadian food system.
“We want to give people coming out for “Bees and Bevies Night” a chance to ask some of their questions about bees, beekeeping and honey,” states Neubauer. “The proceeds we will raise as a result of ticket admission will go directly into a new program we have been developing over the past year.
“We call it the ‘Be Aware’ program, and that program allows us to take beekeeping equipment, minus the bees, right into classrooms around Medicine Hat and surrounding areas. This allows children to learn more about the amazing work of the honey bee.”
Neubauer is grateful to Sweet Pure Honey which donated the flow hive for the “Bee Aware” program.
“A flow hive is an innovative and creative way to harvest honey that allows for spectators to look in on the hive,” explains Neubauer. “The (transparent) flow hive allows the beekeeper to use a tool to realign the plastic honey comb and essentially put a tap on it … Guests coming out to our farm will be able to witness first hand how the liquid gold comes right out of the flow hive.”
Sweet Pure Honey owners Stella and Sheldon Sehn will also be helping out at the “Bees and Bevies Night” by providing a variety of different honeys for guests to sample. And Medicine Hat’s Hell’s Basement brewery is throwing in its own contribution, by providing the “bevies” part of “Bees and Bevies Night.”
“We are fortunate to be partnering again with Hell’s Basement brewery,” states Neubauer, “and one of the new adventures they have embarked on this year includes brewing cider. So they are making a special limited batch of cider for us, and it going to contain strawberries, rhubarb and honey.”
Neubauer hopes with so much negative press about the plight of bees and other pollinators around the world right now, “Bees and Bevies Night” will provide an appreciative view of why people should value honey bees and the beekeepers who tend to them.
“Basically, “Bees and Bevies Night” is a way to learn a little more about nature’s pollinators,” explains Neubauer. “In recent times there has been a whole lot of heightened publicity about the decrease in the number of bees, and that bees are dying off. We would actually like to give the other side of that story which talks about the importance of the domestication of bees .
“The more we can share these types of positive messages about agriculture, and create positive experiences for people, the more it is good for our business and the image of agriculture.”