Farm Family Profile: Gull Lake Honey Company Inc.
The Prins Family
The Gull Lake Honey Company
Near Lacombe, AB | Honey & Beeswax Products
1st Generation Beekeepers, but 3rd generation farmers.
How did you get into farming?
Lorne grew up on a family run grain and pig farm near Lacombe. After high school Lorne pursued a career in industrial construction which ultimately led to a management role on international mega projects. As newlyweds Alida and Lorne decided to make a move that would allow them to settle down near the original family farm, and build a business close to friends and family. Beekeeping had not originally been part of the plan, but when 2 established beekeepers in the area made plans to downsize, and sell off parts of their businesses the opportunity was too good to pass up.
- What do you love about farming?
Both Lorne and I come from the oil and gas industry, where although the hours and money are good, you were always an employee, and had to answer to someone else and rarely had complete control of your career or direction. With farming, the hours are long and hard, and the money isn’t always a guarantee, but you have the knowledge that you are building something not just for yourself, but for your family, and their future.
- What other activities are you involved in (outside the farm or association work)?
Lorne is an advanced collector of World coin, and early Canadian currency. We have participated and had tables at the coin shows in Edmonton. Alida is a leader for their Churches GEMS girls club program, as well as helps lead a praise and worship team with the church. We both love to travel, and have explored many different countries together, as well as prior to getting married.
- What types of on farm sustainability practices do you employ?
We have started to develop an in-house queen breeding program, and indoor wintering of small ‘nucleus’ colonies to reduce our dependence on imported bees. We also stay informed on current industry best practices.
- What excites you about the future of farming?
Eventually paying off some debt.
- What concerns you?
Rising input costs, and misinformed policy makers have made planning for the future very difficult. Not knowing if the government has your back and will go to bat for you (all farmers) when you most need it is very concerning.