Have you heard the buzz? Planet Bee Honey Farm & Honeymoon Meadery have achieved a Silver grading from Sustainable Tourism once again, and are very close to reaching Gold!
Having worked with bees since the 1960s, owner Ed Nowek understands that his business simply could not survive without a healthy environment for his bees to thrive in. Ed realized long ago that consuming honey products was not only great for health, but that bees were a key member of a functional ecosystem, and he needed to do everything in his power to educate the public about the importance of bees to agriculture, humans, and the environment.
So, in 1997 Ed opened Planet Bee Honey Farm in Armstrong, BC, later moving to the current location in Vernon, BC. Since its inception, Planet Bee has been a means for the Noweks to educate and promote the unsung hero, the honeybee. Using educational tours in addition to the sales of a wide selection of all-natural bee products at their farm, Ed and his family have helped to educate visitors from across British Columbia, Canada, and the world on the fascinating world of honeybees. Taosha has been especially dedicated to adapting Planet Bee’s marketing strategy to cater to enthusiastic Chinese visitors – helping spread the buzz across Asia about the amazing qualities of bees! Son James and daughter Olivia help oversee IT & Education and Marketing & Branding respectively, with the 2 generations working side-by-side in this family-operated business.
Sustainability has always been a part of Planet Bee’s message, which often results in customers asking what they can do to help support a healthy bee population. Planet Bee is quick to offer several tips, such as:
- planting a bee-friendly garden
- limiting the use of household pesticides
- buying organic fruits and veggies
- asking local farmers what they are doing to manage pests in a way that is mindful of the native pollinators
Planet Bee joined Sustainable Tourism in 2016 as a way to show their customers their commitment to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. This program has helped Planet Bee pinpoint numerous improvements they can make to their operations to improve their sustainability – some examples of Planet Bee’s Green Achievements are:
- Converting all in-store lighting to LED
- Introducing paper bags with “Bee-Friendly Tips” on them to offer to customers as an alternative to plastic bags
- Offering honey bucket refills for locals so they can bring in their honey buckets and have them refilled with raw local honey, with savings on cost and packaging. Win-Win!
After so many years promoting the value of bees, the Noweks know all too well that their commitment to sustainability is increasingly important, as global bee populations are in serious decline due to risks such as disease, climate change, and the increasing use of pesticides on agricultural land.
Moving forward, they plan to “go for Gold” with Sustainable Tourism, and hope that other Sustainable Tourism members commit to making their properties pollinator friendly too, through actions such as leaving some portions of their properties wild, installing bee baths, and reducing or eliminating the use of harmful pesticides.
If we all do our part to care of the bees, they will continue to care for us and provide us with delicious and nutritious products for many years to come!!