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Arctic Gold Honey: The Sweet Taste of Northern Manitoba

Arctic Gold Honey, a beekeeping apiary north of the 55th parallel solely based out of Thompson, Manitoba, is a unique operation that produces raw wildflower honey.

Arctic Gold Honey, a beekeeping apiary north of the 55th parallel solely based out of Thompson, Manitoba, is a unique operation that produces raw wildflower honey. The bee hives are located in the prestigious wilderness north and south of the city, providing the bees with access to a variety of wildflowers such as wild roses, golden rods, high yellow and white clover, and northern thistle, which combine to create a distinct taste of the pure north.


Steven Larocque, the founder of Arctic Gold Honey, started the business nearly eight years ago and it is still going strong. He has one of the only apiaries, also known as a bee yard, in the whole North with over 30 hives that he runs with conservation permits because of the crown land he’s stationed on.


Out of the 30 hives, 3500 pounds of raw honey is harvested every year, within the short seasonal timeframe limiting him to only a couple of months in the year. Their season runs from the end of June to the end of August when the bees are at their greatest numbers for pollinating these wildflowers and collecting nectar over this short season.


Larocque stated, “It’s a 15-hour day, every day. You’re running to make sure you're getting all you can. And the other thing here is bears. So I keep all the hives in little cattle trailers so the bears can’t get at the hives. What I like to do is deterring the bear to go to an easier meal. People ask us all the time why we don’t just trap the bear, but there are thousands of bears. And we work with conservation so the bears are already there and we need to work around their environment to keep the bears safe as well as the bees.”


The honey produced by Arctic Gold Honey gets hard much faster because the flowers that the bees are on have a low sugar content like a nectar consistency, so the local Thompson honey is looked at as a Northern specialty.


The biggest market season is from the fall up until Christmas where they can participate in craft shows and join with MKO, the Legion, TRCC. They sell at Safeway, Family Foods, Giant Tiger, The Meridian, and many more local locations.


“I’ve sent this honey all over the World, to Europe, to Australia, or wherever. People want to taste it because honey is a funny thing where honey all tastes different based on where it’s harvested because it changes to what the bees are on. People are wanting to taste the honey from here because it's so different in the North,” said Larocque.


Arctic Gold Honey is not just a honey producer, but an experience. They will be running tours as well over this time and will have the freshest of wildflower honey and healthy food honey lines available for people to purchase during these tours.


As Larocque and his team look to expand, they have big plans for the future. With a unique product and a strong commitment to the environment, Arctic Gold Honey is a business that is sure to continue thriving for years to come.


~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen.  The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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