We've worked with clients to set up bees in less than a week and others to plan up to a year in advance. We are happy to work with you and your goals for the program.
The most important part of the program is choosing the right location. Safety is top priority, and I consider it very important to make sure everyone has a good experience, including the bees. It is important to choose a location to keep everyone’s objectives in mind. Some of our clients want to place the bees where they can be highlighted and visible, and we all work together to make that goal a reality. We chose a place where there’s minimal maintenance for landscaping crews and the bees are not directly facing any kind of people traffic. The area chosen is then prepped for the bees if any landscaping changes need to be made and a fence or other barrier is installed.
At Sierra's Bees we have a four hive minimum. We find that four hives work really well together and produce a nice crop of honey. Of course we can add more as your space allows and to meet your honey needs. Each honey bee colony has one queen bee and can contain up to 60,000 bees during peak production! That's almost a quarter million bees between four hives!
Because of the prevalence of Africanized, or aggressive, bees in South Florida, genetics are a very important part of the program. We use Italian honeybees that are known for their gentle nature and honey production.
The bees will produce honey approximately three times a year. The honey harvests are timed about June, September, and November. The ideal time to start the program is February so the bees can be in place for the start of the year and produce three full harvests for you. Each honey harvest will taste totally different because of the bees' access to what is in bloom that season. Even year to year the honey will taste different depending on weather and environmental factors. Each hive can produce 20 to 75 pounds each harvest!
I will visit the hives at least once a month to check them for health, food stores, brood production, and queen status. We will monitor all of these factors to keep each hive healthy and well balanced. When the honey flow starts, we will make sure the bees have plenty of room to store the nectar they are bringing in. Each hive can have one to three honey supers, depending on how strong the honey flow is.
When honey is ready to be harvested, the honey supers are pulled off of the hives and brought back to our certified Honey processing facility in Palm Beach Gardens. We take great care in labeling the honey from each location throughout the entire process. Each location's honey is extracted on its own, and kept separate from honey from other locations. The honey is bottled and private labeled as needed. Honey can be delivered in bulk for culinary use and in gift sets and jars for the members. We are happy to package honey at each harvest according to your needs.
It has long been stated that local honey is good for seasonal allergies. When your bees visit flowers in your community, they pick up pollen and bring it back to the hive. This pollen is present in the honey and every time you take a spoonful, you are introducing these small doses of pollen to your body. Some people like to think of it as a microdose or allergy shot. Knowing the season of your allergies and consuming honey in your area from that season is essential to getting those potential benefits.
Yes! We love to work with inspired chefs and mixology teams to talk about the unique and delicious ways the honey can be incorporated into menus. We love to help start the conversation and are often blown away by the talent and inspiration that arises. This is one of the most rewarding parts of the program,
Absolutely! Our bees love to travel and our Observation Hive has been the star of many lunch receptions, cocktail hours, and dinner talks. This its also a great way to show off the chef's and mixology team's culinary treats as we learn about the bees.
We are happy to provide in-hive tours to give you a feel of what its like to be a bee in your community and a beekeeper to help keep them healthy. We can work with you to develop a program to suit your needs. PGA National has a wonderful program for members and resort guests. You can see what that looks like here:
We are happy to answer your questions.
We are happy to answer your questions.