Shopping local has tremendous environmental benefits, no matter what you’re looking to buy. When it comes to honey, not only are you helping the planet (and community businesses), you’re helping yourself too.
Rokus Armonas and his wife, Kelli, run Bay Area Bee Company maintaining hives in backyards throughout the Bay Area. The people who own the hives receive a portion of the honey, and Armonas sells the rest. It’s a win-win for all concerned.
Bay Area residents who house the hives bypass the time and commitment it takes to learn to keep bees but still get the raw, unfiltered honey, with all its benefits. Besides the honey, they get bigger garden harvests, since having more pollinators around changes the bounty of local gardens.
Before Bee keepers Christina and Mark had a hive, “we thought our apple tree was just old,” said Carter. It used to produce four or five apples. But with the bees, she gave away bags and bags of apples and made cider to use up the rest.
One of the more interesting things to learn on about local honey farming is how the local plant life factors into the honey-making process. The honey produced at the farm comes in different flavors, including the traditional wildflower, raspberries, orange, and avocado, etc. These flavors don’t come from additives, however. Instead, they are created based on the plants from which the bees draw pollen. Releasing the farm-raised bees into select local plant life not only creates some incredible honey flavors, but it also helps pollinate the plants, which is beneficial to all local wildlife.
Besides benefiting the plant life, supporting local honey helps the bee population as well. Since bees are now endangered, it’s more vital than ever to support local bee farmers who are helping raise and maintain healthy bees.
How good is the honey from Bay Area Bee Company?
Vanity Fair featured The 14-page recipe for “Honey (Spring),” from Dominique Crenns' Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste., which they also Most Surreal Cookbook of the Year . Most importantly, Vanity Fair had this to say about the recipe, "the best honey you can get your hands on—Crenn uses honey, beeswax, pollen, and honeycombs from the Bay Area Bee Company. “With the floral, fruity, and nutty flavors that appeal to bees, the dish is not just an ode to honey, but a celebration of honeybees and their role in sustaining the entire ecosystem.” What you see is beeswax sorbet, a honey meringue, roasted white-chocolate crémeux, pistachio puree, candied pistachios, braised pears, pear puree, honey caramels, and honey-chamomile cake made with gluten-free Cup4Cup flour"
What are the seasonal flavors of honey?
Each batch captures the subtle characteristics of honey as it changes throughout the year: from the fall, tasted of raspberry, because of the raspberry vines that grew over the backyard beehive from which the honey came. This spring, the honey might take on a hint of plum blossom, and in midsummer, perhaps an inkling of jasmine. In winter, when eucalyptus trees flower, its resinous savor is detectable in East Bay honey
Shop local honey.