Daniela D’Ambros, inspects a drum of honey produced in 2018 at Honey Onyx Apiary on Friday, June 14. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Beekeepers from Argentina find sweet success in Shuswap

Honey Onyx Apiary is hoping to increase its operations by 200 hives this year

An Argentinian honey company that moved to Canada one year ago has enjoyed a flowering business and safety in Falkland.

Honey Onyx Apiary in Falkland is an offshoot of an Argentinian apiary run by the same family called Apicola Danangie. While the Argentinian company has been in business since 1991, Onyx has only been in full operation since March 2018.

Read more: UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Read more: WATCH: Cutting-edge B.C. lab opens to detect fake honey

Daniela D’Ambros, a second generation beekeeper whose sister runs the apiary in Argentina, believes the move was necessary for the future of the business.

“Argentina is not Venezuela but it’s South America so it has many problems. We were looking for new horizons and we wanted to do things well and to grow,” said D’Ambros. “In Argentina people don’t buy honey on shelves, they normally don’t eat so much honey so we had to export it mainly to Europe and some to the U.S.”

These thoughts culminated when in 2015 D’Ambros attended the American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow in Florida where she met Canadian beekeepers who told her to set up her hives in Canada.

D’Ambros listened. A year later she visited apiaries in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Before she left for the trip, a friend told her that there were Argentinian beekeepers in Vanderhoof so she ended up visiting them too.

In 2017 D’Ambros received a tip that Pat and Richard Springborn of SilverStar apiaries in Falkland were looking to sell their operation. That same year, D’Ambros and her family started their immigration paperwork and, in March 2018, made the move and started operations as quickly as possible.

Soon after the move, D’Ambros started to notice things in her new country that wouldn’t happen in Argentina.

“We live in the farm and we don’t close our door. I only close the gate if I have to go out and on the weekend,” said D’Ambros. “We live here really safe.”

An unexpected aspect of Canadian living for D’Ambros is the sense of community created by farmers in the region and other residents in the area.

“Our neighbour is really nice, he has helped us a lot. He’s like our advisor so when we don’t know what to do or where to buy things we always go and ask him,” D’Ambros said.

Read more: Okanagan woman urges public not to fear bees

Read more: Vernon beekeeper concerned after spike of deaths in bee population

When a fire broke out and levelled a neighbour’s home in an hour, she watched as the people of Falkland came to their aid.

“We went to help them, the other neighbours came to help him and the other neighbours came to help him. And people on the road stopped and also helped,” D’Ambros said. “It was for me my first time seeing that – how people could work together and help.”

Onyx currently has 300 hives scattered throughout the Shuswap but D’Ambros says this year they will reach 500.

If you would like to taste honey made in B.C. or Argentina, Honey Onyx Apiary will be attending the downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market on Saturday, June 22.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

A forklift used to move frames and hives around the farm at Honey Onyx Apiary on Friday, June 14. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Daniela D’Ambros, originally from Argentina, moved to Canada in 2018 to start Honey Onyx Apiary. The company hopes to have 500 beehives in operation this year. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Souperbowl Sunday is back for fifth year this weekend

Organizers say they are looking for a fourth chef to compete in round 2 on Oct. 27

Keremeos Legion silent auction raises record amount

The silent auction brought in just under $4,000, says volunteer Susan Hoffus

Quantum 1 cannabis retailer scheduled to open Nov. 1

Owner Russ Rossi promises modern shopping experience

All-candidates meet and greet at UBCO

Students and residents will have a chance to meet with the MP hopefuls on Friday

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

VIDEO: Shuswap resident’s yard becomes nighttime thoroughfare for grizzlies

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

Fuel Good Day has most successful year to date with $680,000 raised in Western Canada

The Sept. 17 fundraiser beat last year’s amount by $80,000

Okanagan ski hills highlighted on website’s ‘most affordable’ list

HomeToGo looks at rentals, lift passes, accommodations and food to compile list of Top 50

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Most Read