On the Plate: Alberta Honey
Airdrie Ale Trail  |  Bits 'N Bites
Restaurant Spotlight: Mocha Cabana (Lethbridge)
Chef Profile: Debra Poulin (Twisted Fork, St. Paul)
Featured Recipe: Honey Panna Cotta
Meet a Beekeeper: Amber Ozero (Good Morning Honey, Parkland County)
Featured Partner: Alberta Beekeepers Commission

On the Plate: Alberta Honey

Alberta’s honey bees are nature’s super-pollinators, collecting nectar from our abundant crops and native plants to produce honey that’s expertly and sustainably harvested by our beekeepers. These little insects are small but mighty. In fact, a queen bee can lay up to 800,000 eggs in her lifetime - now that's a busy bee!

Honey bees create honey from nectar collected from flowers. Here in Alberta, canola crops are a significant contributor to nectar collection, in addition to many native plants like dandelion, clover, and wildflowers. These crops help to create the unique flavor and colour characteristics found in pure Alberta honey. With Alberta being the largest honey producer in Canada, and those honey bees going on to pollinate our farm crops, by choosing pure Alberta honey you are supporting sustainability in both farming and beekeeping.  In fact, Alberta's commercial honey producers manage around 25 Billion bees - that's over 5,800 bees for every person living in the province!

Looking for a local honey producer near you? Visit


Honey is often called a super-food, and there’s good reason for that. Honey, with its antibacterial properties, flavonoids and antioxidants, is in the category of healthy foods like blueberries, cruciferous veggies, nuts and whole grains. Adding honey to your meals and snacks can be beneficial!

1. Honey has a lower Glycemic Index than sugar.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a comparative ranking of carbohydrate in foods indicating how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods with a high GI will increase blood sugar higher and faster than foods with a low GI. Honey typically ranks 58 on the GI scale while white table sugar (sucrose) ranks higher at between 58 and 65. Honey is about one-and-a-half times sweeter than sugar, so you can use smaller amounts of honey to get your sweetness kick. 

2. Honey has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties.

 When bees synthesize pollen, they deposit hydrogen peroxide into the honey. Honey is also naturally acidic. These characteristics give honey its powerful antibacterial properties. Studies have shown honey’s effectiveness in treating burns, skin sores and inflammation. It’s thought that the drying effect of honey’s simple sugars and its antibacterial nature both contribute to its healing properties. Honey also contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant also found in vegetables, fruits and olive oil.

3. Honey can help soothe sore throats.

Studies have shown that honey can ease nighttime coughs and help with sleep, even when compared to popular over-the-counter cough suppressants. Just a word of caution, though: honey should NOT be given to children under one year of age.

Other Bee By-Products

Wax - Bees naturally produce wax flakes in glands on the underside of their abdomen, then use it to build cells in which they raise their broods and store honey.  Beeswax is used in many ways, from candles to furniture polish and cosmetics to Ukrainian Easter Egg decorating!

Pollen - Bees rely on pollen as a source of protein, and now it is marketed as a supplement that can boost the immune system and provide many other benefits.  Even chefs are using them in elevated cuisines!

Royal Jelly - Royal jelly is a very nutritious substance that worker bees produce through their glands and feed to the larvae and queen.  It is believed that eating royal jelly increases energy and prolongs youthfulness, though it is time consuming for beekeepers to gather.

Propolis - Propolis is a sticky substance that bees collect from trees and other plants.  They use it to seal cracks in the hive, and it has antimicrobial properties that help keep the hive sterile.  On the human side, it's used to make many different things, from wood varnish to skin ointments and other health products.

Venom - Bee venom is a liquid that a bee secretes from her stinger in self-defence.  It is known for its therapeutic properties (for example, to help control arthritis pain), but should be used cautiously as many people can have serious allergic reactions to the venom.  Source:

Bee FAQs

Q: How fast can a bee fly?
: A honey worker bee flies between 19-33 kilometers per hour (and even faster if she's not carrying nectar or pollen).

Q: How much does a honey bee weigh? 
: A single honey bee weighs only .00025 pounds (.1134 g), so you would have to gather 4,000 honey bees together to equal a weight of one pound (454 g).

Q: How do bees communicate with each other?
 Bees communicate through dances, vibrations and chemical signals. When scout bees find new sources of pollen, nectar or water, they return to the hive and perform a ‘round dance’ or a ‘waggle dance’ that helps the other scout bees find their way to these resources during their next flight.

Q: How much flowers does it take to make honey?
: According to the Canadian Honey Council, to make one pound (454 g) of honey, bees will tap about two million flowers and fly 50,000 miles (80,000 km).

Q: How many bees are in Alberta? 
: Alberta’s commercial honey producers managing 25 billion bees, that’s over 5,800 bees for every person living in our province!

Source: Alberta Beekeepers Commission

Introducing the Airdrie Ale Trail

Think outside of the city for your next Alberta craft beer adventure

If you are a Culinaire Magazine subscriber, then you may already know that the City of Airdrie has developed an ale trail to help you discover the incredible craft beer experiences in the city.  In the May issue of the magazine, a print copy of the Airdrie Ale Trail guide is included.  You will also be able to find them at the four local breweries and other local businesses soon.  
Learn more...

Bits 'N Bites

Alberta Beer Festivals Return to Calgary & Edmonton

After a COVID hiatus, the Calgary International Beer Festival and Edmonton Craft Beer Festival return in 2022 for more craft beer celebrations.  YYC is coming up May 6&7 so get your tickets fast before they sell out!  For YEG, tickets are already on sale for the June event.  Learn more...
Brewery & the Beast Tickets Are On Sale Now
Get your tickets to Brewery & the Beast Calgary, taking place August 21 for the biggest and baddest BBQ event of the year.  Tickets are 80% sold out, so get yours quickly before they are gone!  Enjoy an afternoon of craft beer, bites from some of Calgary's top restaurants, live music, and more!  Learn more...
Celebrate the Canadian Beer Awards in Calgary on May 11
The Canadian Beer Awards & Conference will be taking place in Calgary from May 12th to 14th, so the ASBA is hosting an industry social at Big Rock Brewery for beer enthusiasts and industry members. Watch for select restaurants also offering specials throughout the event.  Learn more...
YYCaesarfest Celebrates One of Calgary's Greatest Inventions

YYCaesarfest is a celebration of one of Calgary's greatest contributions to Canadian culture. This annual event is held every year on National Caesar Day (the Thursday before the May long weekend) and the following Friday. Sample Caesars from local restaurants, pubs, and distilleries. Tickets will include entrance to the party, access to the YYCaesarfest map, and the opportunity to vote for your favourite Caesar.  Learn more...

MOCHA CABANA (Lethbridge)

317 – 4 Street S, Lethbridge  |  403.329.6243  |

Mocha Cabana, situated in the heart of downtown Lethbridge is Lethbridge’s original farm to table restaurant with a commitment to all things fresh and local. Owner Angel Harper is a farm girl, and it was important for her to manage the business while supporting the local community.

“When we have defined values, it was easy to come up with our mission statement which is to nourish and sustain our community,” says Harper.

Mocha Cabana supports local in every way, from local product to musicians and even local chef talent. Angel sits on the Lethbridge College advisory board and loves to hire apprentices and up and coming Chefs.  Read more...

(Twisted Fork, St. Paul)

Debra is the Chef and owner of Twisted Fork in St. Paul, Alberta.  Debra is passionate for local regional cuisine and she works closely with local farmers and producers in the Lakeland region.  She discovered her passion for the culinary world as a child going up in the Niagara region in Ontario where she was surrounded by fresh local ingredients and working on farms.  These fresh ingredients gave her a chance to discover the importance of flavour and this has been key for her throughout her career.  She has extended her commitment to flavour to her fellow staff, other chefs, and her involvement in professional organization and educating those that are up and coming.  
Keep reading...

Honey Panna Cotta

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, a simple, sweet dessert to celebrate your mom is a must. This panna cotta features pure Alberta honey and only takes 10 minutes to make!   
Get the recipe

(Good Morning Honey, Parkland County)

Good Morning Honey is family owned and operated near Stony Plain in Parkland County, Alberta. Their apiaries cover a diverse area of natural land and farms just west of the capital city of Edmonton.

AOTP: How did you get into beekeeping?
GMH: Richard grew up on a farm north of Bonnyville, Alberta. After graduating high school, he moved to Edmonton and went to NAIT, where we met. We were each enrolled in the Radio and Television Arts program (eventually both working in television news for many years – Richard also received his meteorology degree). We got married, had two kids and bought a farm just west of Edmonton. Richard met a local beekeeper, becoming interested in learning more about it himself. This beekeeper was ready to retire and convinced us that it was a good idea to buy 920 hives…and that’s how Good Morning Honey all started!
Keep reading...


Alberta’s honey bees are nature’s super-pollinators, collecting nectar from our abundant crops and native plants to produce honey that’s expertly and sustainably harvested by our beekeepers.

It’s a natural business, and a growing one. Alberta’s commercial honey producers manage 25 billion bees, representing over 300,000 colonies, to produce more than 25 million pounds of pure honey each year. In fact, Alberta is the #1 honey producer in Canada.

Alberta Beekeepers Commission supports our 172 producers, works with industry to innovate and grow, and funds research to keep our bees healthy and our industry sustainable.

Healthy bees, innovative producers and one super food.

That’s today. Tomorrow, the sky’s the limit.

Learn more...
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