“Would you like to hold her?”
The honey bee was just rescued after getting lost in the rain. I held out my hand and she walked onto my finger, content to rest there for a while.
I was already totally charmed by this sweet … in every sense of the word … honey store.
In addition to sampling excellent honey … I will rave about the mint thistle honey soon … I learned not only a lot about honey and humane beekeeping, but all sort of interesting and entertaining things.
Did you know that whether the winter will be dry or rainy can be predicted by when the mustard blossoms. This year it bloomed late, so there should be lots of rain in the weeks ahead.
It was raining too much go out and meet the ladies … who knew that 97% of a beehive is female with just a handful of gigolo drones. The owner always refers to the bees as as ‘the ladies’ or ‘the girls’. The description of the guys made me chuckle. There are tours of the hives when it is dry and the temperature is 60 degrees or higher.
But the important part … the honey
The amazing, raw mint-thistle honey is my favorite. A dark, rich, burnt-amber color, the first flavor … surprisingly … is cocoa followed by a hint of mint.
The Gravenstein apple blossom honey is a medium colored and flavored honey. It is lovely drizzled over apple slices. There's a great recipe on the site for a drink that mixes tea, apple juice and this honey.
The lavender honey is different from most I’ve tried … and by that I mean honey from hives in lavender fields and not infused. There is a tang to it. I’m not sure how much I like it but I bought a jar because it was intriguing
There are some infused honeys which I don’t normally like and only tried the nutmeg honey. After the fact, I find myself thinking about it and how nice it would be drizzled on apple pie a la mode. I'll buy it on my next visit.
Spring wildflower honey – It was a bouquet of flavor. It is my second favorite. Some of the prose on the site is … flowery … but on target
“Every spring … The mountain ranges, foothills and meadows are a veritable patchwork of blue, yellow, pink, white and red blossoms. The vineyards are golden with mustard flowers and the vanilla colored ground iris blooms in the dappled sunshine of our oak forests. The common buttercup and the rare wild columbine are both at home here in the Northern California. This magnificent array of flora is what our busy honeybees gather “
I tried most of over a dozen varieties of honey, all good, but these were standouts to me.
It is a nice shop with a wall of photos of bees and hives that are used as part of the tour.
Another wall has shelves books and beekeeping supplies such as hats and white beekeeping outfits neatly hanging in one section. I have zero interest in keeping bee hives, but the mini-tour was so engaging I’m seriously considering taking the beekeeping classes that are offered … all three … beginning, intermediate and advanced.
This is the third generation of a family that has been in the honey business since 1948.
The store moved in the summer of 2009 since this brief report. It is no longer on Guerneville Rd.
The new location is one mile from the Flamingo Hotel on Hwy 12, next to the produce stand.
It was pouring rain that day. I thought I remembered the mention of a coffee shop next to the produce stand, pulled in and noticed the warm glow of the honey shop. Like the weary bee on my fingertip, I found a place to revive. I’ll definitely be returning to the hive … uh, shop.
Bear Foot Honey Farm
4372 Sonoma Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95409