Monday, June 22, 2015

Bee Chama Honey, Polvadera New Mexico

Arik and a variety of honey
Think all honey is the same? A glance at the honey I picked up at Bee Chama Honey shows otherwise. The strawberry/raspberry is a dark amber, the wild blackberry a few shades lighter. The cat’s claw/mesquite is pale, creamy, and opaque. The source of the flower nectar makes the difference. And bees make the honey.

Bee Chama Honey in Polvadera, just off I-25 in central New Mexico, is a sprawling complex of straw bale buildings and animal pens. I stop by with a group of friends after hiking. We cluster around the tasting table, which holds two dozen jars of honey in different flavors. By the time we’re done, everyone has picked at least one type to take home.

“The Middle Rio Grande is good for bees,” says founder Arik Glesne. “We just pay attention to what’s blooming when, and move the bees to control the floral source.” Some of their honey is local, and some of it is traded from other regions, which allows for the wide variety. “We really look for unique flavors.” Arik’s favorite is the mountain gambel oak. The bees use the honeydew off of leaves, instead of nectar from flowers.

Tasting honey
They also sell beeswax and bee pollen. Beeswax, used by the bees to make their honeycombs, can be made into candles. Bee pollen is a traditional medicine said to have many positive effects, including reducing allergies.

Bee Chama Honey has a farm store with observation hives and you-pick salad. They have some sheep for wool and may set up a demonstration loom. They also raise heirloom pigs for meat. They sell in Santa Fe.

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page

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