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Honeybees like northern Ontario

About 45 minutes south of North Bay in Restoule, you will find Board's Honey Farm and it goes all the way back to the 1970s.

The six-acre farm has grown into a well-known retailer.

"As soon as people knew that we had honey, it just took off from there. People were wanting us to sell them honey," said owner Jaimie Board.

"It started small, and now we've added many, many products ... We have over 350 different skews on our website. It's quite a large business."

The farm has 12 bee 'yards' where thousands of bees produce honey for most of the year. Each yard has 20-25 hives.

"They have electric fencing for bear protection, and they're all at different farms," Board said.

"We have great partnerships with landowners all the way to the far end of Chisholm, all the way in to Powassan, Restoule, Nipissing and Golden Valley. And now I have new yards in Commanda."

While Board's Honey is known as a commercial bee keeper, there are also small bee keepers in the region like Kathy Hogan, who has a bee yard in Powassan.

"As to the success of being a bee keeper, it's just perseverance," said Hogan.

"You will have good years and you will have bad years and just have to learn, and persevere. It's always a learning game, there's always new things happening and new things to talk about."

Hogan said there are pros and cons to bee farming in the north but said honeybees thrive living in the open fields.

"It's a clean environment," she said. "You don't have the large amounts of monoculture like you do down south, so that's important to the bees."

"They like a whole bunch of variety," Hogan added.

"They like a really nice hay field and Powassan and the north have lots of those available."

Bees live for six weeks in the summer and can survive the whole winter in their hives and underground. Top Stories

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