Gillard Family Honey is a local business run by the Gillard Family. Kerry Gillard Cheif Beekeeper, wife Loretta and their 2 daughters run the business just outside of Grand Valley.
Kerry got into beekeeping 5 years ago and is now a self-proclaimed “Bee Geek”. Although he has a separate full-time job, as well as being a dedicated husband, father and Grand Valley minor hockey/baseball coach which takes up a good amount of his time you can always find Kerry around his bees. One of his favourite things to do on a summer evening is to watch the bees at work. Kerry said the bees are amazing to watch as “Every bee works with the same purpose to keep the colony alive”.
After meeting up with Kerry at his local honey shop (where he and his family package and processes the honey) I completely agree with the Bee Geek title!! Kerry’s enthusiasm and passion for bees and the honey they produce is contagious.
Kerry got his start with 2 beehives and a fascination with bees and honey. Kerry had never intended to sell his honey but after the 1st year, he was left with 100pds of honey and friends and family were interested to take some of that honey off his hands. Thus Gillard Family Honey was created. Each year Kerry’s passion for beekeeping grew and so did his bee colonies which at last count this past year were 45 which produced 6000 pounds of honey.
Let’s talk Swarms- Kerry is a wealth of knowledge about bees and their behaviour so I took the opportunity to ask him about and increasingly common occurrence of swarm sightings. If you see a swarm of bees there is a reason for it! They are resting and waiting for the “Scout Bees” to find a new home for the colony, this process can take anywhere from about 1 hour to a couple of days. If you see a swarm the best thing you can do is maintain a safe distance and take a picture. Send the picture right away to Gillard Family Honey and Kerry will confirm that they are Honey Bees and not Wasps (common error) and if he can he will bring his Nucleus box (see picture below) box to collect them.
Gillard Family Honey bee boxes are all made from scratch by Kerry and all 45 colonies are located within Dufferin County so when you purchase Gillard Family Honey you are not only supporting a local Grand Valley area family but you are also buying a truly local product.
Gillard Family Honey produces a wide range of products, not only can you buy raw honey, creamed honey and beeswax products but you can also buy flavoured honey (cinnamon, peppermint, orange and my favourite Lemon Ginger). Gillard Family Honey is in shops in Guelph, Orangeville and Amaranth however you can purchase locally at Ace Hardware or contact Gillard Family Honey directly to purchase.