One Sheep Hill is home to five hives of rambunctious honeybees who pollinate the garden, endlessly entertain, and begrudgingly share their honey.
Hooligan Bee Honey
Val Verde has really diverse resources for bees. Wild plants both native and naturalized predominate, an orange orchard is just about a half-mile away, and neighborhood gardens lend a hand as well. You may have noticed that commercial beekeepers sell honey that's labeled as a specific type, such as orange blossom honey or sage honey. That just means that they moved their hives into an area with such heavy populations of those flowers that the honey primarily comes from those sources. They can also tell what their bees have been up to by the different flavor and color of the honey yielded by those different flowers. My beehives are never moved, so my honey is just "wildflower" honey rendered from everything that's blooming around us. The predominant flavor and color depends on the season. Here's what my hooligans have likely been into, by season:
Winter: Eucalyptus, Citrus, Chapparal Broom.
Spring: Pepper Tree, Elderberry, Echium, Alsinckia, Ailanthus, Black Locust, Mustard, miscellaneous meadow wildflowers
Summer: Buckwheat, Sage
These are just the major sources of the nectar that bees use to make honey, but there are many minor sources that also contribute. What this means is that each batch of honey we harvest is truly unique, and truly special.
Depending on how much surplus I harvest, friends can sometimes share in the bounty. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.