Walking along 10th Street NW in Calgary's trendy Kensington district you can't help but notice The Beehive with its distinctive bright yellow exterior and promise of 'Farm fresh honey' and 'all natural hand-made soaps, cremes and candles' in large lettering by one window.
On entering the shop, you are welcomed by shelves full of jars of honey and related products, including edible bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly. There are also more than 20 different varieties of flavoured honey, such as blueberry, lavender and rose, at about CN$8.50 for a small jar.
I was curious to learn more about tincture of bee propolis so I spoke to the lady behind the counter who was very helpful. Propolis is the sticky sap collected by bees from tree buds and other botanical sources, and used to inhibit fungal and bacterial growth in the hive. Tincture of bee propolis is claimed to have various medicinal benefits, including lowering blood pressure and as a cold and flu tonic.
The first room in The Beehive is dedicated largely to 100% beeswax candles, available in all sort of shapes and sizes. These include pillar candles, tea lights, sculpted floral varieties, star-shaped, square and round candles, ranging in price from about CN$13 to CN$28.
You can smell the hundreds of different soaps, body lotions, hair oils, bubble baths and household goods before you actually see them. In The Beehive's three other rooms there is a huge selection of products including herbal dog shampoo, furniture spray, belly butter for pregnant ladies and a gentleman's corner with beard oil and moustache wax.
The Beehive was established about 17 years ago by Sandra Wells and Stan Hay, both members of the Alberta Beekeepers' Association with a shared passion for bees.
All of The Beehive's products are formulated in-house using organic, natural, plant-derived ingredients, which are sourced locally as much as possible. The honey and beeswax products are made on the premises using produce from the owners' hives.