Peace River Honey buzzes to the top in Alberta’s largest honey competition

by | Dec 15, 2022 | News

At the age of 16, Gilbert Wolfe convinced his father to buy him 50 beehives. Setting up in a rustic granary, Wolfe extracted honey from his new hives. Then some harvests later, in 2006, he began retailing and packaging his product, called Peace River Honey. As you likely surmised, these hives were and are located in Peace River. And his honeys are buzzing to the top–Wolfe earned the top spot in four categories at Alberta’s largest honey competition. 

Not all honey is created equal. We take time to make it really good—soft, smooth and spreadable,” said Paige Wolfe, Peace River Honey’s marketing manager. And the judges agreed. 

Alberta’s Beekeepers Commission, a board of beekeepers that supports honey producers, awarded Peace River Honey first place in all categories, including for: creamed honey, flavoured honey, best personal care product and liquid honey. In mid-November at Edmonton’s Farm Fair their big win was displayed.

Honey manager Wolfe explains that it’s quite an honour to win these awards, considering Alberta produces the largest amount of honey in Canada—about 39 per cent. And given the number of producers they competed against, including major brands like JIFF and others, she infers that they possibly sell the best honey in the country. 

The marketer credits the honey’s texture to their organic practices and the use of the proper equipment. “With creamed honey, there’s specialized equipment that sets it apart and not many honey makers do that [in Alberta],” said Wolfe. Besides specialized equipment, however, she credits the bountiful landscape of Peace River and her father’s occasional trips to Germany. That’s because, according to her, Germany is where a person learns from the best honey makers in the world.  

But she adds that placement also plays a part in the honey’s success. They strategically place hives around  red clover and wild alfalfa so the honey has the typical white colour Canadian honey is known for.  Using the bees’ flight patterns, the hives are also placed precisely 13 kilometres away from any genetically modified crops to garner an organic harvest. 

Bees are managed the same, regardless if the producers are aiming for organic or processed honey. “We focus on raising strong bees who are resistant to diseases,” said Wolfe. Currently, Peace River Honey is working on their hot honey line, but they hope to release a new innovation soon. If interested, their products are available at Independent grocery stores across Canada. 

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