Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company. What inspired you to begin this?
About three years ago my partner Rob and I bought property in Metchosin. The property is nestled in the forest, overlooking the ocean and is my little piece of heaven. Unfortunately, shortly after moving in, I lost my dad unexpectedly to cancer. He was a hard worker and it had been his plan to retire, have bees and chickens, and live the good life of rising early in the morning with a coffee in hand to watch the sun come up. But, life doesn’t always work out as planned.
I decided a nice way to honour him would be to try my hand out at beekeeping now that I had space for it. I enrolled in a small class and right away became fascinated with honey bees (Apis Mellifera). The past three years has been what I would describe as a chaotic-painful-inspiring-educational-adventure. I’ve had to fend off bears with a pot and metal spoon from taking down my hives. I’ve been stung and ended up in the hospital-now with an EPI-pen because I have developed an allergy. I left the front door to our house open one day while I was bringing feed out to the ladies and had about 200 bees hanging out in my kitchen. Needless to say, in my short three-year career I can guarantee I’ve produced more laughter than honey, but I’m a firm believer that life is short and we might as well make it as sweet as we can!
Smoky Mountain Apiary has big plans coming in the near future! We are excited to expand our product base to include our honey, candles and homemade treats in the next few months. My hope to offer a community learning space where people can visit and learn more about bees and how we can all help do our part.
Beeswax Wraps: The Eco-Friendly Alternative to Plastic Wrap, Keeps Food Fresh, Oceans Clean & Bees in Business!
I began making beeswax wraps as presents for friend and family at Christmas. I have a pretty strong network of supporters that love to hear about my crazy bee stories so when I posted that I was going to start selling these so many were keen to help support me.
Beeswax wraps are an eco-friendly alternative to plastic wrap that are made with cotton fabric, and a mixture of beeswax, tea-sap and natural oils. The combination of these ingredients creates a malleable food wrap that can be used again and again. The beeswax and oils used have natural antibacterial qualities that help to keep food fresh. These wraps come in all different sizes, can be easily cleaned and last for up to a year with proper care, and later be compostable or used to as fire starters when camping. The great part about these wraps is 100% of the profits go directly back to supporting local bees and helping the environment.
What advice would you give to someone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
I always tell my students at school (I teach grade 8) that change happens by doing small things that make a big difference in this world! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with ‘all the things’ but just get started and make a few small changes at a time. We started off with making garden boxes to grow our veggies, replaced soaps and cleaners with homemade recipes or more environmentally options, and use cloth bags and beeswax wraps instead of plastic bags.
One of the things I would highly suggest is getting together with some creative friends and collaborate ideas or share products and recipes that you have tried that have worked for you.
What are some of your favourite ways to stay healthy?
I love Crossfit. I started a few years ago and love the powerful feeling of lifting heavy and ending a work-out happily exhausted and sweaty!
Also, just over a year ago I decided to change my diet and go vegetarian. I feel that being a healthy person encompasses the mind, body and heart and eating meat was something that just didn’t fit into my lifestyle any longer. I’m not big on labels but am taking little steps towards becoming more educated and mindful of what I consume.
What do you think this world needs most at this time in history?
I feel like people need more time outside connecting and appreciating nature. The feeling of hiking up a mountain, jumping into a fresh-water lake, taking a walk in a quiet green space with your dogs, or drinking coffee around a campfire are so satisfying for the mind and soul.
Book: The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill
Podcast: CBC Quirks & Quarks
Exercise: More than anything, I love hiking around Matheson Lake early in the morning with my dogs and ending with a jump in the lake.
Green product: Mason Jars! I use Mason Jars for everything from storing my preserves and honey, salads and breakfast oats, to smoothies and water. I have some fun lid attachments that I bought for my jars like reusable straws/lids, salad dressing pourers, honey wands etc. On any given day I have about 3 mason jars in my car ready for when I need them.
Quote: “Be the Change You Wish To See in The World.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Where can we find you and your business info?
I currently have a FB page setup “Smoky Mountain Apiary” at: www.facebook.com/pg/smokymountainapiary
And in Instagram @nickylnadeau and @smokymountainapiary