Originally, the first hives were established at Carmel Lavender for pollination. But they have capitvated with their altruism and dedication. They are a mirror in which we see ourselves and our society.
If you would like bees on your property, contact us about hive rental availability. For a monthly fee, we locate bees to pollinate your trees and flowers. A site evaluation would be necessary to determine if your location is suitable. Terms and pricing available on request.
Donate, and Receive a Gift from Our Bees
We need your help. Last year was one of the worst years for honey (read below). The droughts last year meant less food, bad nutrition, and bees struggled to survive. Spring is the time for nursing our bees back to health. And this takes real work, out in the field. This takes lots of time, and money, repairing or replacing equipment, feeding under-nourished hives, and restoring lost colonies.
Help us Save the Bees! You can help us save the honey bees in Carmel Valley by purchasing our honey, lavender, and beeswax products. Please visit our store to make your purchases.
Why Do We Need to Help? - Worst Die-off in 40 Years
Some predicting losses of 50% of our honey bee populations this last winter (Read full story Worst Bee Die-off in 40 Year, by Friends of the Earth.
From U.C. Davis, “Last year was not a good year for honey production in the United States,” Mussen said, “and it could be one of the worst honey production years in the history of nation...." - Eric Mussen, Entomologist, (Read his article Troubling Honey Bee Shortage in California Almond Orchards on the U.C. Davis website)
Bees Among Us
Bees are amazing creatures. For most of us, we live our lives almost in parallel universes. The bees go about their business, and we ours. Once in a while, we notice one in the flowers, or they give us a fright if they get caught in the car with us. And then, there is the occasional sting. But these little insects have the power to enrich our lives beyond our own imagination. It starts in the flowers, with their magic powers of pollination. With each flower they touch, they spread the pollen across plants, improving genetic diversity, ensuring fruiting of important fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Without them, our diet would be, well just boring. Yet, if we follow them back to the hive, and watch as they enter, we see an amazing civilization, working together, each with their own place, their own job, their own contribution to the survival of the colony.
Understanding the bee and sharing the magic with others has become a mission of Carmel Lavender. We have pioneered the Bee Experience program. Bringing people in contact with the marvelous secret lives of the bees, in their own home.
Flower to Honey Pot
Walking through the lavender fields to the apiary, we can experience the entire process that is the miracle of honey. Look closely at the lavender flowers. On each bud, a tiny bee works. Collecting her pollen and nector. Nature's bounty she will return to the hive and deposit in the perfect hexagonal cells that make the comb. It is here, the worker bees will transform the flower's produce into golden honey. Capturing the essence of each season into liquid gold that delights the palette.
Taste of the Season
Each jar of honey removed is unique. The bees, connected so perfectly to nature, have no choice but to reflect her in their work. Each season offers unique conditions. The spring brings the wildflowers. While summer, the dry sage and chaperal. These natural changes carried by the bee back into their hive, and processed into a unique honey blend.
Spring yields a light, fluid, almost clear honey. The taste is less sweet. But the aromatic bouquet absolutely wonderful.
Summer yields a rich golden honey. Slightly sweeter than spring. This year with a distinctive 'buttery' flavor. The aromatic bouquet slightly less pronounced.
Fall is the darkest honey of all. Amber, the honey looks more like caramel. The sweetness is enhanced, and the texture very thick.
There is no such thing as boredom in nature.
Honey production is very labor intensive. Therefore there are limited supplies of our local Carmel Valley honey. If you are interested, we suggest you join our mailing list where we will announce availability during the year.
A Note on Wild Swarms
One summer day, while checking the apiary with my video camera, I was fortunate enough to walk right through a wild swarm. I was able to capture on video the process of catching and hiving them. Catching wild swarms is an important part of beekeeping. Besides the obvious benefit of getting 'free bees', there is a much more important reason why this is so critical. Bees swarm at the apex of their civilization. Therefore swarming bees come from the strongest colonies. By integrating these bees into the apiary, it works to improve the genetic stock.
Watch this video on catching a wild swarm:
Click here to see all Carmel Lavender videos on YouTube.com
This site was last updated 12/08/13