Discover the Sweet Delights of Ontario Honey Creations – Artisanal Honey Products with Local Flavor!
Along the rolling hills of Mulmur, Ontario, just 45 minutes north of the Greater Toronto Area there’s a buzz in the air. Thousands of honey bees are hard at work pollinating gardens, crops, and trees. The fruits of their labour are racks upon racks of oozing golden honey.
The colourful hives dot a small hillside on the sprawling property of Sarah Allinson-Chorabik and her husband Peter. The two rural entrepreneurs launched Toronto Bee Rescue and Ontario Honey Creations back in 2012.
It started with two beehives and a dream.
How Ontario Honey Creations Came To Be
Sarah Allinson-Chorabik and her husband Peter were living in Toronto, corporate life had been good to them, but beneath the surface, like many of those living in the concrete jungle of Ontario’s largest city, there was a rural draw that they just could not shake.
Everything changed with a phone call.
Peter, who was descended from three generations of beekeepers, received a phone call. A friend had discovered a hive of honey bees on their property and was looking for a way to have them humanely moved to a location where they would be safe to continue their vital work pollinating Ontario’s flowers and food.
After successfully transporting the nest to two hives, and an insatiable desire to expand their apiary, the two began posting ads for free honeybee swarm removals. The demand shocked them. Having the opportunity to safely move one of the Earth’s most important insects was a massive improvement from the long list of exterminators that filled the classified ads.
By 2015, Toronto Bee Rescue had grown to more than 120 hives spread across Central Ontario and the pair had turned their bee rescue into a profitable and exciting business selling Ontario honey which they named Ontario Honey Creations.
By 2018 the pair were able to shed their corporate jackets and move into a life of beekeeping in Central Counties, joining a valuable shortlist of Ontario beekeeping initiatives that include Honey Cove near the city of Peterborough.
When I visited Ontario Honey Creations in the fall of 2023 to meet with Sarah, Ontario Honey Creations had expanded to more than 800 beehives across the province, some of these included important corporate partnerships with brands such as the renowned Chelsea Hotel in Toronto.
The Ontario Honey Creations Experience
When I arrived at Ontario Honey Creations with my two boys, there were bees buzzing all around us. It was mid-fall and the fall colours in Ontario were in full bloom. Bees were busy in their final push to prepare their hives for the long, cold winter. They were so busy seeking out the last of the year’s pollen that they barely had a moment to notice three lumbering humans among them.
We made our way into the small shop, its walls lined with beeswax candles, jars of honey, locally-made artwork, and a refrigerator stocked full with mead. But this was all just a tip of the bucket to the full Ontario Honey Creations experience.
The thing that draws most shoppers to Ontario Honey Creations is their fresh, locally-made honey. My boys and I learned pretty quickly that tasting honey is a lot like tasting wine, and after exploring all of the amazing wine regions in Ontario, this put me in my element.
We learned that Ontario honey, much like wine, gets its flavors from the various plants that the bees favour throughout the seasons. Because of this, no two Ontario honey sources will taste the same. It was demonstrated in their bottles of Spring, Summer, and Fall honey.
The spring blossom honey had a mild, pleasant flavour that wasn’t overwhelming. The honey from the summer months was rich, and bold, with almost a smokey aftertaste. The fall season’s honey was slightly milder than the summer honey, but still stronger than the spring honey. The fall honey also crystallized very quickly, and the creaminess was already starting to show in the bottles before us. We were told this unique characteristic was due to the bee’s love for Goldenrod flowers.
My boys loved the summer honey most of all, and we left with a bottle of that to enjoy later.
One of the hottest products in Ontario’s growing liquor field is Mead. Often referred to as “the Nectar of the Gods,” mead is one of the oldest types of alcoholic drink that we know of. The product, crafted through the alchemy of honey, water, and yeast, is steeped in history and mythology. Its use can be traced back to between 20-40,000 years ago.
Ontario Honey Creations use their own unpasteurized Ontario honey and naturally ferment it to produce Mead, also known as honey wine using a traditional Polish mead recipe that has been passed down for generations.
They have a range of flavours that can be experienced in the same way that wine is tasted at many of the best Ontario wineries. Generally, you sip your way from the lightest to the darkest, tasting the range of flavours, notes, and thickness that results from the different honey and fermenting processes used.
Ontario Honey Creations has several types of Mead for sale including hopped mead, bourbon barrel-aged, dry Mead, and a range of flavours including cherry, raspberry, cranberry, and peach. I left with a bottle of cherry mead to enjoy with my wife.
When my boys saw the lines of white beekeeping suits their eyes lit up. Sarah walked us all through the care and upkeep of Ontario Honey Creations’ vast network of hives. One thing that shocked us was that each hive held about 35 kg (100 lbs) of honeycomb, and they can produce up to 35 kg (77 lbs) in a single year.
Sarah told us that they always leave the hive with at least 35 kg (100 lbs) of honeycomb when they harvest it so that the bees would always have more than enough to see themselves comfortably through the year.
Sarah helped us put on the safety gear and taught us how to use a smoker. The smoker would alert the bees of a possible forest fire and trigger them to return to their nest, leaving the outside of the nest safe for beekeepers to approach.
Because it was the end of the season, we weren’t able to open the hives themselves. But it was thrilling to get so close to the hives and see these insects hard at work.
Sarah and Peter own nearly 10 acres within the Mulmur Hills and it’s clear that they have a lot of animals. On the property are a collection of ducks and geese of many species along with their dog But the stars of the show are the three pens of Kunekune pigs.
These adorable and friendly animals are the stars of Ontario Honey Creation’s popular school trips, where visitors can take part in a “Piggy Pile.” During these raucous events, the younger piglets romp with the crowds enjoying ear scratches and belly rubs galore.
The pigs are full of personality, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be trying to see how practical having one of these adorable animals in your home might be (hint: it’s not practical at all, but we can all dream!)
Ontario Honey Is Waiting For You!
My boys and I loved our time at Ontario Honey Creations. It stood out as one of the best experiences on our road trip through Mulmurhttps://ultimateontario.com/things-to-do-in-mulmur-ontario/ thanks to the amazing range of activities and the delicious pairing of the honey for the kids and the mead for myself.
Being beekeepers for a day at Ontario Honey Creations was something that we won’t soon forget. If you want to connect with Ontario Honey Creations yourself, you can contact them through their website.
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Disclaimer: This post was made possible with a partnership with Central Counties Tourism. All opinions remain those of the author.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of Ultimate Ontario. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home province of Ontario and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.