Acts applied mostly for good practical reasons

Scandia Honey

DOUGLAS SCHOLES

Updated September 10, 2009

It didn’t take long before I realized that I did not bring enough beeswax with me from Montreal.  Even if I had stuck to the plan to maintain four sites, each having their own monument made of beeswax, I was sure to run out of material.  Having added a fifth monument at the Lethbridge Regional Landfill, I had to find more wax.  I had seriously though of having a crate shipped from Montreal as I have a few hundred pounds just sitting there, but I wanted to find out what was available locally.

Through one of the SAAG employees, Naomi Sato, whose family are farmers in the area, I found apiarists Echo and Reece Chandler.  Their company, Scandia Honey Corp., is the largest honey producer in Alberta.  They generously donated 120lbs of beeswax, an ample amount to fulfill my needs.

I went to Scandia, AB (map),  on Monday, September 5th, 2009, to pick up the beeswax.  I went with Ryan, Jackie and Quin Doherty.  Once there we were treated to a full tour of the the Chandler’s honey precessing facility.  It was amazing.

Scandia-Honey-Reece&Doug

(Photo: Ryan Doherty)

Reece Chandler explaining how honey is processed.

Scandia-Honey-honey-spin

Once the lid is closed on this machine, which holds about 160 wood frames of beeswax cones filled with honey, it spins at a high rpm.  Using centrifugal force, the honey is thrown from the wax cones out to the metal housing where it slides down to the bottom of the drum.  The honey is then sent to another container where it is filtered, removing all the various bits and pieces of wax and bee matter leaving it a clear and golden.

Scandia-Honey-wax&honey-com

On the left, the orange stuff under the vat is beeswax.  To clean the wax, it is boiled with water where the solids fall to the bottom and the wax rises to the top.  It is then skimmed off and allowed to cool in containers that hold 40 lbs of wax.  On the right, the filtered honey pours out and is pumped to another very large drum where it will be placed into  barrels and sent to another company that will package the honey into containers.

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