Honey Bee Zen Apiaries Ltd and its subsidiary, Swan Valley Honey Ltd., are known for sustainable beekeeping practices and a growing list of pure, natural and unpasteurized terroir-based niche honeys. In addition to being commercial beekeepers, we are a federally-licensed honey processing facility inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and are registered with True Source Honey, an international program that ensures that honey is ethically sourced in a transparent and traceable manner.
Based in the verdant Creston Valley in B.C.’s Central Kootenay region, we produce award-winning honeys derived from a vast array of forages, including alfalfa, managed clovers, snowberry, thistle, wild fruits, fireweed, wild sweet clover and more. The land has provided our Swan Valley branded-honey a gentle, delectable, sweetness sought throughout the province. We supply over 36 retail locations in B.C.
Our amber and dark niche honeys have won awards and you can almost taste the sunshine that our bees have harnessed to produce such flavourful sweetness.
We are committed to working with farmers who respect the land they use and the bees we provide, and we seek out strong and beneficial relationships. We are interested in the science and breeding of bees, the production of honey and hive products, and trying to resolve the challenges bees and their keepers around the world face.
The owners are Amanda Goodman Lee and Jeff Lee. Amanda was a marketing and sales executive with Pacific Newspaper Group. Jeff was an award-winning journalist in B.C. for 40 years, the last 30 with The Vancouver Sun. He also taught journalism courses at Langara College.
Amanda and Jeff began keeping bees first as a hobby and turned their passion into a commercial business in 2012. In 2017 they purchased Swan Valley Honey, an already-established honey producer that serves the Kootenay region, and moved operations from New Westminster.
Amanda serves on the board of the Creston and District Chamber of Commerce and the Food Action Coalition, which runs the Creston Farmers’ Market. Jeff is on the board of the B.C. Honey Producers Association and Fields Forward Society, which supports Creston and Kootenay region farmers. They are both certified instructors under the BCHPA Certified Instructors program designed to ensure quality education for beginning beekeepers. They are also both certified honey judges.
Updated December 2020