It was a rainy weekend on Galiano Island and Melissa Cartwright was looking for something to entertain herself. Nothing was open but a used bookstore and there Cartwright found a single book on bees.

She became fascinated by the lives of bees, devouring more literature and eventually she signed up for a beekeeping class without the intention of having her own hive. That changed and soon she had hives throughout the city, planning on selling honey named after the intersections where the honey was collected. That plan was short lived.

“At that point I didn’t have a vehicle and was riding everywhere on my bike and I’m super forgetful so I would forget something and have to ride back,” said Cartwright. “I learned why people keep beehives together.”

Cartwright switched gears and started supporting other beekeepers while maintaining a small hive of her own. The next challenge was getting her honey noticed.

There are plenty of honey’s to choose, so the real challenge was distinguishing her honey from others. So, she decided to infuse her honey with different fresh ingredients (not concentrated flavours) like cardamom, vanilla, chilli and lemon. She even once tried garlic and horseradish without success and accidentally turned a few batches into mead. 

Now Melissa’s Mellifera Bees honey can be found in Whole Foods, gourmet stores, gift and artisan shops around Vancouver and across the province.


This honey really has shelf appeal with a beautiful strand of lemon suspended in the jar. The honey itself is thick and really coats the lemon if you pull it out. Lemon and honey is such a classic flavour and goes excellent in tea, on toast or with a sharp cheddar, perhaps the manchego or colby from Milner Valley Cheese.


This honey is not to be missed. Richer and darker than the other two, the cardamom is incredibly aromatic and, frankly, eat-it-from-the-spoon delicious. Drizzle a teaspoon in a cup of black coffee or coffee à la Arabic coffee or enjoy it on a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and don’t forget to add it to your chai tea. 


Bright red chilis set this honey apart from the rest. Very versatile for those who love a little sweet with their savoury. The spice is not too intense, balanced out by the sweetness. This is an awesome addition to a soft cheese like brie or mix it with a little soy sauce and ginger to make a glaze for salmon or chicken.

by | Jun 26, 2018

Photos: Laura Scotten/Two Peas Photography

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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