By Joe Meny
On a beautiful Saturday morning in August, returning from a few days in the Hudson Valley, we found ourselves at the Farmer’s Market in Kingston. We came upon the Bee Hollow Farm booth, hosted by Maria, who was cheerfully greeting passersby, offering free tastings, and sharing her wealth of honey knowledge. This is really good honey! Maria, along with her husband Paul, own and manage Bee Hollow Farm, located in Schodack Landing, NY. Paul took some time from his busy schedule to respond to some questions we had, sharing his passion for bees and honey with our readers…
AF: What do you enjoy/like most about what you do?
Paul: We get to work in nature every day and take care of some of the most fascinating creatures in the world. I also really enjoy educating folks about our honey and watching as their faces light up when they get their first taste of our pure, raw honey
AF: On your website, there are several references to a “bee crisis”. What was the “bee crisis”?
Paul: The natural population of honeybees and other pollinators continues to decline. In the United States, nearly 50% of the honeybee colonies do not survive the winter. Additionally other species of bees are also having a difficult time and now there are several bee species that are listed on the endangered species list.
AF: You are a Cornell Mastered bee keeper. What exactly does that mean?
Paul: Both I and my wife Maria are Cornell Certified Master Beekeepers. This means we have successfully completed all the course work and practical requirements to demonstrate that we are expertise in the best practices of beekeeping.
AF: I discovered Bee Hollow Farm while at the Farmer’s Market in Kingston a few weeks ago. The honey samples easily convinced me to buy some honey. Bee Hollow Farm honey is really, really good honey. What is it that makes your honey so good?
Paul: Our honey is genuine and authentic; I like to say “it’s the real deal”. We take great care in managing our hives using only organic practices to ensure our honeybees are healthy, happy and productive. We place our hives in the safest locations we can find, away from pesticide and chemical poisoning. Our honeybee colonies thrive in rich environments that offer plentiful choice of wildflower nectar from which they produce our terrific honey.
AF: Any secrets or little-known facts about honey that you could share with us?
Paul: I continue to be amazed at the health benefits of raw honey. I have so many regular customers who can’t wait to share how our honey has enhanced their lives in ways that I would have never thought possible. From relief of allergy symptoms, healing of wounds, clearing of acne, healing of burns, sore throats, etc., honey really is much more than something that tastes good. Fortunately, there is a lot of on-going research which is bringing forth much of the potential health benefits of honey and sharing this information with the mainstream public is important.
AF: What’s your favorite way to enjoy honey? (Tea? medicinal? in a favorite recipe?)
Paul: On a spoon!! But we also cook, bake and use honey as the only sweetener in our household. I love our Lemon Creamed Honey on roasted chicken, grilled salmon and shrimp. One of my very favorite things is to take a jar of Cinnamon Creamed Honey with us when we go apple picking. There is nothing better….it’s like apple pie in the orchard!
AF: Thank you so much Paul and Maria! For more information, and to order some of Bee Hollow’s delicious honey, please visit: www.beehollowfarm.com. And when planning a trip to the Hudson Valley area, the Kingston Farmer’s Market is located at 278 Wall St. in Kingston.