Honey heaven: Get ready for Palisade’s International Honeybee Festival
Trees are blooming, honeybees are busily buzzing as visions of local fruits, vegetables and sweet honey come to mind.
It is nearly time for the Palisade International Honeybee Festival, which will be April 11–12 in Palisade.
Considering a third of our food supply depends on honeybees, there is plenty to learn about bees and honey.
And at the festival there will be seminars, entertainment, tours, a spelling bee and more. Look for details at palisadehoneybeefest.org.
Recently, I visited with a young Fruita beekeeper and honey producer, a bakery owner, orchard owners, the Palisade mayor and others who will be at the festival. We all brought honey delights to taste. Out of loyalty to my readers, I tasted everything!
Bella Guillen, 11, owns and operates a Fruita bee business, Bella’s Bees, with her stepfather, Andy, and grandfather, Howdy, who raised bees for years.
It’s obvious Bella has put her touch on all aspects of the business, from making hives, extracting the honey, checking on bees, inspecting and researching lost bees and adding more hives.
Andy says they focus on natural beekeeping with no chemicals and minimally processed honey so they can enjoy the goodness of raw honey.
Bella also is a pro at product development, marketing and sales, saying all this helps her with schoolwork such as math and social studies, and it keeps her brain moving during the summer.
Look for her Bella’s Bees booth at the festival, and you can sample her granola recipe during my “Cooking with Honey” seminar.
This young businesswoman is one to watch. And these honey recipes are definitely keepers.
SLICE O LIFE BAKERY
Mary Lincoln’s Palisade bakery is filled with her homemade delicious, pastries, breads, cakes and so much more. She’s been serving “a slice of the good life” for more than 33 years and, yes, there’s accounting for her good taste.
“I use only local honey for the best taste and good health in all the items made using honey” she says. Her employees Annie and Angelina agree.
Mary treated us with a delicious and beautifully decorated, Honey Carrot Cake with honey in the cake and the frosting. I’ll have some samples at my Cooking with Honey session.
Here are a couple tips Mary has for baking with honey:
When using oil in a cake, beat the eggs with oil before adding honey, if it’s a solid fat, beat fat and honey then add eggs.
You can get more tips at the festival including a Substituting Honey for Sugar Refrigerator Magnet and brochures. Mary also makes some darling Festival Bumble Bee Cookies.
At Z’s Orchard they sat they have happy bees; they never have to move because the fruit trees, flowers and vegetables are grown right there.
“Happy bees mean yummy honey”, says owner Carol Zadrozny. Z’s Orchard packages honey in unique jars, making for a great gift.
Carol is working on a recipe for honeyed chard chips. Stop by her booth at the festival.
ALOHA ORGANIC ORCHARDS
Orchard owners Steve and Pat Sherer not only raise luscious organic peaches, they pride themselves in purchasing and packaging the best local organic honey they can find, including a lavender variety.
Steve packages it in sizes from the tiniest of little honey bears to large 2-pound jars to meet customers’ needs.
You can spot his lavender honey jars with their cork and lavender ribbon. It will be at “Cooking with Honey” as part of learning to do a “honey tasting.” You might ask Steve how he got to Palisade from Hawaii.
Roger Granat’s family goes back generations in the honeybee/honey business. He’s a rich source of BEE history.
Thanks to Mrs. Marie Granat for generously baking Roger’s Aunt Mable’s Honey Cake, a yummy old family recipe he’s willing to share.
Aunt Mable was teaching school in Collbran, she and Uncle Carl had bee yards up there, thinking clover fields would produce a great-tasting honey.
In the winter, Roger’s dad, Uncle Carl and Aunt Mable loaded up the hives and moved them to Fruita for warmer weather.
Deb was battling multiple sclerosis when she moved to Palisade two years ago. She wasn’t doing well. She had foot drag, lost her balance and needed a walker, and had other multiple sclerosis complications.
After research, she started eating healthier, focusing on fresh and local foods and developed her own eating plan. She now rides her three-wheel bike everywhere, developed her artistic talents, has a great sense of humor, volunteers and feels great.
She’s known for her Power Muffins.
I made a National Honey Board recipe called Fruit and Mint Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing an used strawberries.
The dressing was so simple but, oh, so good. You can find the full recipe, plus hundreds more, at honey.com.