Oji-Bee Honey Co
Oji-Bee Honey Co is a new SME located in the community of Naotkamegwanning First Nation. Two young entrepreneurs are tasked with growing this business. Willow Crow and Colt Crow will be wearing many hats in the coming weeks and months, including that of beekeepers, sales & events associates, as well as marketing managers.
To save the bees and through our aims and actions support a diverse eco-system for all pollinators on planet Earth.
Oji-Bee Honey Co was established in the spring of 2020 and this start-up business is supported by Shooniyaa Wa Bitoong, Northwest Ontario Innovation Centre and the Naotkamewanning Business Co.
To find out “what the buzz is all about”, we encourage you to visit this website often for updates. Or send Willow and Colt an email at [email protected] Want to learn more? Stop by the apiary pod, on the way to the West End Loop to chat with Colt and Willow.
Have you always dreamed of how you could #savethebees but didn’t know how to get started? Oji-Bee Honey Co is proud to expand its business and create safe and dynamic spaces for honeybees to thrive across our region. Calling all BACKYARD BEEKS!
The BEE POD special project is generously supported by: Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong, Northwest Business Innovation Centre, Naotkamegwanning Business Corporation
Getting to Know Your Neighbourhood Beekeepers
Please tell us a bit about yourself. When you are not busy beekeeping, what do you like to do?
Willow: I am in my third year of school at Confederation College in the Environmental Technician program. In my free time I love being outside in nature, and learning about my culture.
Colt: When I’m not working with bees, I’m attending high school and working towards my diploma. I love to go on walks to enjoy nature and the scenery. I’m very passionate about insects and enjoy observing them. I also love to spend time with my pets, I have two cats and two lizards. I am planning on, and working towards becoming a reptile breeder in the future.
What is the best part about being a beekeeper?
Willow: The best part about beekeeping is being able to connect to such an ancient practice. There are ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs of beekeeping, and honey found in their tombs. Our Anishinaabe ancestors utilized honey’s healing abilities for tending to wounds. I love honey, so getting to work with honey bees hands-on is such a rewarding experience. Through beekeeping, I have found a new appreciation for the honey that honey bees make. I have grown so attached to them, they are so adorable and hardworking little creatures. Working with the bees is gratifying and fulfilling. They are a very important part of my life now, and so, I take their health and well-being very seriously.
Colt: The best part about it is everything! Being able to raise and care for bees is amazing, fascinating and satisfying. From feeding them to help keep their hives tidy and to watch them grow, and to be able to contribute to helping the environment is just wonderful. The only exceptions are the bee stings, they hurt!
What is the buzz all about? Why is it so important to #savethebees and be a part of this small apiary in the community of Naotkamegwanning First Nation?
Willow: We are supporting the pollination of our community’s vegetation. A vast array of food depends on pollination, and these bees will aid in furthering our native food plants’ growth.
Colt: The bees help with the pollination of our nation and help the growth of our vegetation and the flower population. Honey is their creation and they help with the world’s preservation!
Will you do “bee tours” of the small apiary pod(s) in the summer of 2021? If yes, how can people learn more about booking a bee tour in the future?
Willow: Yes, we will! We are hoping to get more vails and protective equipment beforehand though. We are hoping to bring dates and times to our social medias, and have a sign-up system for those specific dates announced.
Colt: Willow and I are looking forward to doing the bee tours in the future. We are very much excited to teach and learn about the bees along the way.
How can people in the neighbourhood support a healthy beehive?
Willow: Keeping our ecosystems/environment healthy! Advising that we all avoid using pesticides, insecticides, and dumping hazardous wastes. We can provide a list of bee-friendly plants to plant in your gardens, as well as what not to cut when mowing your lawns! We are also hoping to get a community project started of planting an array of vegetation throughout the community, such as the Bai Bom Beh school yard. We can begin to create an ecosystem that will not only help the honey bees thrive, but us as an entire community as well!
Colt: You can help the bees by planting some more flowers in gardens, even planting a young tree can help many bees in the future.