80% of Canada’s Alfalfa Seed crop grows in the Newell region. To produce the seed, they need pollinators to get the job done. Although there are several species of pollinators who have a significant role in prairie pollination; the tour is designed around one pollinator, the honey bee. For bee enthusiasts - like children in a family, you can’t praise one without praising the other - we can’t just speak about prairie pollination without mentioning the leafcutter bee. And for that, we tip our hats and say, “Job well done.” To the leafcutter bee of course. Leafcutter bees play a massive role in prairie pollination, but unfortunately, they do not produce honey. On this tour, you will taste local honey made from honey bees at an urban coffee shop. Learn how honey producers produce honey and work with local farmers who rely on bees to pollinate their crops. Throughout the tour, you will have opportunities to purchase unpasteurized honey.

Day 1

  • 9.00am

    The Steaming Cup

    Start your tour in Brooks at this urban coffee shop. Grab a cup of tea with honey. They use Philpott honey, a local honey producer, making your cup of tea pleasantly charming.

  • 10.00am

    Philpott Honey

    From The Steaming Cup, head to Philpott Honey for a tour. Learn all about their honey production process from its bees to farmers utilizing their services, from the extraction process to winter storage. Discover why younger bees are vital for the alfalfa seed crop compared to adult bees. You can also purchase honey here. Please make reservations 24 hours in advance. Call Allan Philpott at (403) 362-0027 or email him at allan@philpotthoney.ca.

  • 12.30pm

    Scandia Honey Corporation

    This honey producer doesn’t do tours. However, you can purchase pure creamed unpasteurized honey here. Unpasteurized honey is different from the honey you buy in grocery stores. Pasteurized honey does not have the same enzymes and health benefits as raw honey due to pollen and other constituents removed in the heating and filtering process.

    Fun Fact
    Canadian Cocoon Testing Center – This federally approved facility in Brooks is operated by the Canadian Alfalfa Seed Council, monitors pollination bees (particularity leaf cutter bees) for quality control. The Centre performs a variety of testing on these bees including a live count, parasite check, sex ratios, and chalkbrood testing. The Canadian Cocoon Testing Centre ensures that quality bees are pollinating the alfalfa crops and bee farmers are utilizing their best resources to achieve superior results. Once these tests are completed, and the bees have successfully passed many local producers export quality bees to the United States.