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Member Spotlight - Grimshire Apiary

I'm thrilled to introduce the next members of the Merritt Small Business Centre to you, Bruce and Diana Grimshire of Grimshire Apiary. I had a chance to chat with Diana - who is as lovely as their honey is sweet - and find out what's behind their love for bees.

You can catch up with Diana at the Nicola Valley Farmer's Market {Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1 pm on the parking lot next to the Baillie House}, connect with her one Facebook or via email, or just give her a call at 250-378-9703.

 


Thanks for taking the time, Diana! I know that summer is your busy season. You must be buzzing all summer long :) Tell us about yourselves!

 

Hi! I'm Diana Grimshire of Grimshire Apiary. The Grimshires have been in the Nicola Valley for a few generations, when Bruce's great-grandfather started homesteading above Nicola Ranch. Bruce was born and raised in the Sunshine Valley until the family moved to Clinton for ranching. Together, we moved back to the valley to work and raise our family. We had always talked about learning to keep bees and when the kids left to start their own adventures we finally had time. My family had bees when I was a kid, I will always remember standing under a tree, holding a box above my head, while my dad shook a swarm off a branch into that box.

 

That's definitely something to remember! Do you have a tagline for your business?

 

Straight from the hives of Grimshire Apiary. We chose this tagline because it really sums up our philosophy about honey: keep it as naturally as possible with no hard chemicals or prophylactic antibiotic use. We don't use heat and only minimal filtration during extraction; the raw honey still contains all the beneficial pollens, propolis, friendly bacteria and healthy enzymes that are so important in local honey.

 

I've tried your honey and it is delicious! How do you connect with your customers who can't come out to the Sunshine Valley?

 

We are happy to arrange a dropoff when we come into town, and we also have our honey available at the Old Courthouse Art Gallery, and we are at the Nicola Valley Farmer's Market every week. We also have beeswax products such as candles etc., and I have been experimenting with honey confections.

 

That's great! How long have you been in business?

 

We took a beginner beekeeper course with Ian Farber in Kamloops and got our first two nucs from Meg and Alan Paulson of Nicola Valley Honey about eight years ago, and have enjoyed the never-ending learning that comes with keeping bees since then.

 

Like I said, I love your honey - and I would be surprised if you hadn't won any awards with it yet.

 

We have! At last year's BC Honey Producers AGM & Honey Competition we were thrilled to come in third place in the liquid honey class.

 

Fantastic, but I'm not surprised. Your honey is the good stuff! Do you belong to any industry associations?

 

We enjoy meeting other beekeepers and keeping up with all the latest news concerning bees and beekeeping so we belong to the BC Honey Producers Association, the Kamloops Beekeepers, and the Western Apiculture Society. We also get together with the other many beekeepers of the Nicola Valley a few times every year for a potluck and information sharing evening.

 

Choosing collaboration over competition is always best, you know how I feel about that. Talking about collaboration, is your business a family business?

 

We are truly a family-run business. Both Bruce and I take care of every aspect of our business with our grown children helping with beekeeping and marketing. Even the grandkids like to get their suit on and head out with grandpa when he is working with the bees. It's always a treat for them when they come back from the beeyard with a large chunk of dripping honey comb to eat.

 

That would be a treat for anyone I'm sure. What do you like best about being a business owner?

 

We enjoy marketing honey at the Nicola Valley Farmer's Market where we get a chance to visit with both the other vendors and customers. People are so curious about what's going on in the hives and we love answering all those questions!

 

And when you're not busy beekeeping, what do you enjoy doing then?

 

We enjoy hiking and kayaking with family and friends.

 

It's so great to be outdoors in the Nicola Valley, isn't it? How do you give back to the community here?

 

We try to support local events with donations for auctions etc.,  and I am also a member of the Nicola Valley Search and Rescue.

 

Last question: I heard that you also offer beekeeping classes. Can you tell me a bit about that?

 

Both Bruce and I are both certified by the BC Honey Producers Association as Master Beekeepers and Beginner Beekeeping Course Instructors. We love sharing our knowledge and getting the next generation of beekeepers started, so if anyone is interested in taking a class you can get in touch via email

 

Thanks so much for taking the time, Diana. It was great chatting with you!

 

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