Wood ‘n’ Hive in Port Williams undertaking ‘significant build’

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on January 6, 2017

Alex Crouse, pictured standing in Wood ‘n’ Hive’s workshop, plans to nearly double the number of hives at his Port Williams-based operation by spring.

©Ashley Thompson

PORT WILLIAMS - It almost seems ironic that Alex Crouse is busy as a bee prepping his growing business for the spring.

Crouse co-owns Wood ‘n’ Hive, a honey and pollination operation he started in Port Williams with his wife, Heather.

The couple decided to branch into the bee business about a year ago. Crouse had already been working with bees for about eight to nine years, and he wanted to find a productive way to keep busy in his retirement.

“I enjoy woodworking. I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy production and agriculture,” said Crouse, explaining the rationale behind the creation of Wood ‘n’ Hive.

They purchased property along Starr’s Point Road and constructed a multi-use building to act as the headquarters, honey house, workshop and storage area for the business.

“We understand that there is a demand for honey products and we have a lot of traffic on this loop in the fall, around Starr’s Point,” he said.

This winter, they’re focusing on boosting their hive count from 75 to 140. The planned expansion will see Crouse putting his woodworking skills to use constructing 300 beekeeping boxes that will be filled with a combined total of 3,000 frames.

This is a significant build,” the beekeeper said.

“I’m hoping that this winter is unique.”

Wood ‘n’ Hive produces liquid, cream and raw honey with nectars gathered from blueberries, clovers and various wild flowers. The final product - pure Nova Scotia honey – made its way into several gift baskets throughout the holiday season.

But Crouse envisions Wood ‘n’ Hive evolving into a business that is built around more than honey sales alone.

He intends to continue offering pollination services, and he’s also exploring ways to diversify by creating agritourism opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about how honey production or the bees in general.

“Bees are pretty cool insects on how they live and the hierarchy in the hive,” he said.

“Every bee in the hive has a role; they have a purpose.”

The population in an active hive on Crouse’s property can range from 10,000 near the end of a winter to 50,000 after a busy spring.

“It’s amazing the number of people that are truly fascinated by bees,” said Crouse, who asserts that bees have a mind of their own and beekeepers must learn to work in harmony with the insects.

Crouse said he’s noticed that people in the honey business – sometimes even direct competitors - will often exchange words of wisdom for the sake of the bees.

“There’s a network of beekeepers out there that are willing to help each other.”

As word continues to spread about Wood ‘n’ Hive’s products, Crouse is looking forward to greeting new guests who travel to Port Williams to see what all the buzz is about.

“The primary thing for us is to have fun doing it.”

To learn more about Wood ‘n’ Hive’s products, visit the Wood ‘n’ Hive Facebook page or call 902-679-8996.