Raven Creek Farm
Roger and Kathy Desilets have been learning about the secret life of bees for almost thirty years. They started with 25 hives and have maintained a similar amount from year to year, learning early on how best to prevent loss in the winter and handle each hive during the harvesting season. Their steadfast dedication and energy for small-scale bee-keeping has given way to opportunities involving the sweet stuff, creating a multi-product business for them and their family. They moved to the area of Oakburn in 1983 and started a market garden and greenhouse in addition to their bees. After one growing season they decided to focus on the latter two of the three, putting the majority of their energy into bee-keeping. In the mid 1990s, they met a bee-keeper and candlemaker who also ran a skin care business using by-products naturally created by the bees. One of these is called propolis, a sticky substance that contains healing properties yet is most often discarded by bee-keepers. When their new friend decided he wanted to move on from what he was doing, Roger and Kathy learned everything they could from him and was eventually gifted with his business. The couple started attending craft shows the following year, bringing with them their honey, candles and the skin care line and have since been building up a customer base that stretches across provincial borders.