|Bee Keeping Supplies
With only four employees - all but one are family members. Jeff has been continuing a tradition that began prior to 1948 with his grandfather and great-grandfather in a Bank St. sash-and-door company in the Billings Bridge area of Ottawa. It was in that year the Benson's of two and three generations ago agreed to concentrate on the needs and recurring demands of area apiarists and commit part of their wood shop's production to the creation of the hives and frames that are the source for the liquid gold found in almost every kitchen.
The sash-and-door business withered and the company evolved into Benson Bee Supplies, the only remaining manufacturer of wooden hives, frames and foundation sheets - which are the bases for honeycombs - in Ontario. Fifty-five years later, the Benson's are still producing homes for millions of the critters that provide us with one of nature's sweetest nectars - honey, a treasure in itself and a base for everything from sauces and glazes to wine.
During that time, the Benson's have expanded their business, but never strayed too far from their specialty market, the men and women who produce about 80 million lbs. of honey every year. Clients visit or call from Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, Western Canada and Upstate New York.
The Benson's have expanded into the craft market, offering honeycomb candle wax in 22 colours, but it only accounts for 10% of sales. A dozen books on beekeeping and working with honey in the kitchen, as well as a few signs, are also listed in their catalogue, but their core business remains with the apiarists.
In addition to the boxes and frames, the Benson's offer starter kits and every item of protective gear and equipment necessary to get into and maintain a honey business. They offer "nucs," short for nucleus, which are mini-hives containing a brood of 2 lbs. of bees, featuring an Ontario queen with a basic feed and foundation. A full range of suits, smokers, tools and honey processing equipment is also available, and even the drugs and chemicals needed to ensure the little hummers can lead a full and productive life.
Rennie MacKenzie - Ottawa Sun
|1-800-214-7366 / In Ottawa 613-821-2797 © 2009 - Benson Bee Supplies - All Right's Reserved.