Monterey is California’s sugar hub

May 31, 2018 - garden totes

  • Mel and Jacquie Stringham, left, of Seattle, check out a bee hive honeycomb with a assistance of beekeeper Mariah McDonald, right, as they take partial in a guest experience, The Amazing World of Bees, during Carmel Valley Ranch. Photo: Patrick Tehan / Special To The Chronicle

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Bees can’t see a tone white, Mariah McDonald tells me as she helps me into white coveralls with a zip-over hood, a normal beekeeper’s uniform. This is how she dresses attendees of The Amazing World of Bees, Carmel Valley Ranch’s new 90-minute educational tasting and experiential tour.




Covered conduct to toe, McDonald, who has been beekeeping manager during a plantation given it restructured a prior bee knowledge for a 2018 season, opens one of a hives and points out a queen.

“We speak about a lot of information, and have an overview of bees and their behavior,” she says. “Some people aren’t totally engaged, and afterwards once we get them in a bee fit and indeed in a apiary and lift a support of bees, that sorcery is only definite and penetrates everyone’s heart and mind.”

Seeing inside a beehive is partial of a guest experience, The Amazing World of Bees, offering during Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel Valley. Photo: Patrick Tehan / Special To The Chronicle


The Amazing World of Bees is only one of several initiatives by Monterey County beekeepers seeking to make a area not only a good place to keep bees, though a place for visitors to learn about bees, ambience honey, and get adult tighten and personal with a eusocial insects.

At circuitously Bernardus Lodge and Spa, Chef Cal Stamenov keeps 3 hives in a purple lavender, catnip, and echium garden on a property, and uses a sugar in dishes during Lucia Restaurant and Bar. Drop by, and he’ll happily uncover we around a chef’s garden, alive with a heard hum of thousands of bees. Visit a bar for a Smoky Stinger (mescal with bitters, lemon and honey) or a ever-popular EpiPen (whiskey, honey, bitters and soda). Or check out a spa, that intermittently has treatments desirous by, or even featuring, honey, generally during September, National Honey Month.

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Perhaps Monterey County’s best-known beekeeper is 15-year-old Jake Reisdorf. With a assistance of his family, he incited a fifth-grade plan into a business handling 125 hives around a segment and even as distant divided as Oregon, offered 4 forms of sugar (available in internal shops or during carmelhoneycompany.com), and handling a store in Carmel’s downtown piazza that also sells bee shirts, bee totes, polish candles and plush pressed bees.

If we come weekends or afternoons when he’s out of school, a rarely associating Jake will travel we by a tasting featuring sugar dripped on apples with brie, crackers with goat cheese, peanut butter banana, and more. It’s a bit like listening to a sommelier when he talks about a light, mellow black symbol virtuoso honey, a some-more formidable orange blossom, a internal sugar from a accumulation of wildflowers, and a meadowfoam honey, that tastes of vanilla and toasted marshmallows.

John Russo, a maestro beekeeper who maintains about 50 hives around Carmel Valley, and also runs a lavender farm, has even worked with sommeliers to yield tasting records for his honeys. “It’s kind of like wine, solely people aren’t as associating about it, since it’s not something that we find everywhere,” he says.

Before Carmel Valley Ranch hired McDonald, a module there was called a “Bee Experience,” and Russo ran it. Now he has started a association called Mellifera B for a new kind of Bee Experience, featuring a 90-minute presentation, tastings and tours during a tiny plantation in a valley.

Chef Cal Stamenov binds a roasted pear, shoot onion and asparagus salad with sugar black truffle vinaigrette, one of his bee-themed dishes, nearby beehives during Bernardus Lodge and Spa on Monday. Photo: Patrick Tehan / Special To The Chronicle


Honey is so most some-more than only a sweetener for your tea, Russo is lustful of indicating out. Tastings and educational practice are assisting people know both a significance of a bees and a ways we can use their honey, and putting Carmel on a map for honeyed experiences.

“When we eat honey, you’re radically eating a Carmel Valley meadow in a jar. It’s a pollens and nectars from those flowers that we see around you, poured all over your breakfast,” says Russo.

If You Go

Carmel Valley Ranch

1 Old Ranch Road, Carmel; (831) 626-2577; www.carmelvalleyranch.com/play-for-all-ages/activity-field-guide/bee-happy

Bernardus Lodge and Spa

415 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley; (831) 658-3400; www.bernarduslodge.com

Carmel Honey Company

Carmel Plaza Shopping Center, Suite 118, Carmel-by-the-Sea; (831) 687-8511; www.carmelhoneycompany.com

Carmel Lavender Company/The Bee Experience

316 Mid Valley Center, Carmel; (800) 949-2645; www.carmellavender.com; www.thebeeexperience.com

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