Munro Honey, one of Ontario's largest packers, producers and exporters of honey is celebrating its 100th anniversary with an open house at its Alvinston meadery and gift shop on Saturday June 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Events include a tour of
their operation, honey and mead samples, an observation hive and a bee beard competition (weather permitting).
John Bryans, who along with his brother Davis and their families own and operate Munro Honey, noted that Munro Apiaries was started in 1914
when Warren Munro captured his first swarm of bees in nearby Napier, Ont.
However, shortly after Munro answered the call to serve in the First World War and had some friends and family look after his bees while he was gone.
After the war he returned
home to look after his bees and also spent some time at Vineland, Ontario studying beekeeping.
"In 1923, he expanded his business and built his first honey house in Alvinston," said Bryans.
He added that in 1949 two young bee keepers, Howard
and Vincent Bryans of St. Mary's Ont., were also eager to get started in the beekeeping business and purchased 200 hives from Warren Munro.
The three bee keepers maintained a good business relationship, became friends, and the Bryans brothers would
often help Warren out when he needed an extra hand, he added.
Warren Munro continued to build the business, leading the day-to-day operations until 1956 when a car accident claimed his life.
It was then that Howard Bryans, John's father, stepped
in to help Mrs. Munro run the company after Warren's untimely death.
In 1958, Howard and Mavis Bryans purchased Munro Apiaries.
"At the time, Munro Apiaries had some large contracts with hospitals in Canada as well as in England and the name
Bryans' Apiaries was used in Chatsworth, Ont.," explained John Bryans.
"So the decision was made to maintain the company name as Munro Apiaries."
Howard and Mavis Bryans, along with their two sons, John and Davis, continued to grow the company
and became leaders in the beekeeping industry.
Davis and John took over the business in 1989 and changed the name to Munro Honey.
He noted that ironically, when his uncle, Vincent Bryans, was ready to retire, he and his brother purchased his
bees and equipment.
"So those 200 hives that Warren Munro sold my father and uncle in 1949 have returned to Munro Honey's care," he said.
Today with the help of their families and dedicated staff, John and Davis Bryans continue to expand their
business and have become major suppliers of mead and honey wines and are among the province's largest exporters of honey, breeding stock and related products.
More information on the open house will be available on the company's website, Facebook and
Twitter at www.munrohoney.com or @MunroHoney