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Chaparral Mountain Honey Co.

Chaparral Mountain Honey Co. Chaparral Mountain Honey Company is a family-owned company located in the foothills of Altadena with over 45 years of beekeeping experience.

We specialize in producing single varietals and local wildflower mixes (mixed by the bees) from southern California and now, Arizona, too.

Flash honey sale! Look for the email from Chaparralbee in your inbox. If you didn't get an email, send us your address a...
11/20/2022

Flash honey sale!
Look for the email from Chaparralbee in your inbox. If you didn't get an email, send us your address and we'll send you the order form. This sale is by pre-order only for pick up the end of November or middle of December.

Sometimes some honeybees are like me.  They’d rather stay out in the rain and get wet than go into the shelter of the hi...
09/22/2022

Sometimes some honeybees are like me. They’d rather stay out in the rain and get wet than go into the shelter of the hive. (Cottonwood, AZ)

09/12/2022

As this year’s honey harvest nears an end, it’s fun to take time to share some of the visual aesthetics of that process. One of my favorites is filling five gallon buckets from the stainless steel settling tank. In this video honey flows out of the 1 1/2” gate at the base of that tank. Its viscosity makes it form smooth overlap patterns, and its surface reflects light from a flashlight I’m holding in dynamic bright spots and reflections. The aroma is wonderful as well. This is from a batch of Altadena Gold Wildflower. Enjoy….

07/20/2022

Washboarding is an activity that honeybee workers do, usually when there is minimal nectar flow, during warmer weather, and near the hive entrance. It’s called washboarding because the motion resembles the old fashioned method of washing clothes on a washboard. These bees are focused. The motion is intense, repeated for long periods, and involves licking the surface they’re standing on. No one really knows why they do this. It might be for cleanliness, or because there’s nothing better to do with no nectar to gather, or some other reason. Maybe they’re dancing?

07/17/2022

This time of the year, at the end of the honey flow, is often when hives will swarm to replace an aging queen. It also helps to have a break in brood rearing to reduce the parasitic varroa mite population in a hive. When many hives swarm at the same time, they often settle in the same place forming very large swarms, that contain many queens. Recently, this happened at one of our apiaries. Fortunately, these oversized swarms tend to settle close to the ground, making them easy and fun to collect. I give each box collected a frame of eggs, so they can raise their own new queen, and it helps them stay in the box I put them into, rather than drifting back to the swarm. Over 3 days I collected 26 boxes of bees from 3 of these huge swarms. Once they settle down, each box has about 4-8 frames of bees. I give them drawn comb and some honey and pollen frames to get them off to an easy start.

A field bee flies under the colorfully backlit canopy of an epiphyte flower’s petals to begin collecting nectar and poll...
05/29/2022

A field bee flies under the colorfully backlit canopy of an epiphyte flower’s petals to begin collecting nectar and pollen from this magnificent bloom. Location: Altadena.

It’s good to be back! Bug Fair!
05/21/2022

It’s good to be back! Bug Fair!

We’ll be at ’s ! Will you? Be sure to visit us at the Museum May 21 and 22 for all things bugs, back on-site, in person,...
05/17/2022
Bug Fair 2022

We’ll be at ’s ! Will you? Be sure to visit us at the Museum May 21 and 22 for all things bugs, back on-site, in person, and better than ever—advance tickets required: http://nhm.org/bugfair

Over a million species. Only one Bug Fair.

Wildflowers are busting out all over the foothills! Bees are making lots of honey this year.
05/15/2022

Wildflowers are busting out all over the foothills! Bees are making lots of honey this year.

Just one more week until the Bug Fair! This year you need tickets - use this link. 🐝🐝🐝
05/14/2022
Bug Fair 2022

Just one more week until the Bug Fair! This year you need tickets - use this link. 🐝🐝🐝

Over a million species. Only one Bug Fair.

The bees are making wildflower honey this year! We are looking forward to more Sage and Altadena Gold.
05/01/2022

The bees are making wildflower honey this year! We are looking forward to more Sage and Altadena Gold.

Even honeybees love roses! Happy spring!
04/13/2022

Even honeybees love roses! Happy spring!

Good news, honey lovers! There will be a Bug Fair at the LA Natural History Museum this year. The dates are May 21 - 22 ...
04/06/2022

Good news, honey lovers! There will be a Bug Fair at the LA Natural History Museum this year. The dates are May 21 - 22 and we'll be there.

Honey Lovers! We are opening up orders for December, with pick-ups for December 11 - 14. If you'd like an order form in ...
11/28/2021

Honey Lovers! We are opening up orders for December, with pick-ups for December 11 - 14. If you'd like an order form in Word, DM me at [email protected].

Some still photos of honeybees and a Carpenter Bee foraging on cactus blooms at Huntington Gardens.
08/29/2021

Some still photos of honeybees and a Carpenter Bee foraging on cactus blooms at Huntington Gardens.

08/29/2021

A field bee gathering pollen from cactus flowers with a little slow motion thrown in to see the dynamics of hovering flight. It almost seems gravity defying. Worker bees have specialized hairs arranged on their front legs designed to act like combs to brush pollen grains off of their body and onto the flat outside tibial surface of their back legs, where the accumulation becomes what we call a pollen sac. (Location: Huntington Gardens)

Going back through some old photos and I found this action shot. Coming in for a landing!
04/13/2021

Going back through some old photos and I found this action shot. Coming in for a landing!

Who wants some fabulous honey? With no Insect Fair this May, we are wondering if we should schedule a May sale in Altade...
04/10/2021

Who wants some fabulous honey? With no Insect Fair this May, we are wondering if we should schedule a May sale in Altadena? Let us know in the comments if you're in!

Spring is here in northern Arizona. Foothill Carpenter bee (Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex) foraging on a Western Redbud ...
04/07/2021

Spring is here in northern Arizona. Foothill Carpenter bee (Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex) foraging on a Western Redbud (Cercis occidentals).

The Arizona bees had a snow day in January!
02/01/2021

The Arizona bees had a snow day in January!

01/01/2021

It’s 45°F outside in Cottonwood, AZ where we have 4 beehives. This blooming Loquat is 30 feet from the hives and is abuzz with activity. Sorry the video doesn’t capture the fragrance of the bloom, but those who have smelled it know what I am talking about. Being further impressed by these insects is a nice way to begin the new year.

12/07/2020

Sharing some of the visual aesthetics of pouring gallon jars of honey.

December sale! Support your local bees! We've sent you an order form if we have your email. If you didn't get one, you c...
12/01/2020

December sale! Support your local bees! We've sent you an order form if we have your email. If you didn't get one, you can message me.

Nancy created this recipe a while ago because she loves honey, almonds, and cranberries. Buy and freeze some extra bags ...
12/01/2020

Nancy created this recipe a while ago because she loves honey, almonds, and cranberries. Buy and freeze some extra bags of cranberries so you can enjoy this cake in 2021.

Greek Honey Cranberry Cake

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 C flour (whole wheat or white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 eggs (separate yolks & whites)
1 cup honey (orange or sage)
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon orange flavoring
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
1/2 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
6 oz fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350oF. Sift together almond flour, wheat flour, and baking soda. Add in chopped almonds and whole cranberries. In a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks, melted butter, honey, yogurt & orange flavoring and zest until well mixed. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold in until just mixed. Don't overmix.
Pour batter into a well-greased 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown. Remove and cool on a rack; serve with whipped cream sweetened with honey.

Honey lovers, We have a new email just for you! chaparralbee@gmail.com. You can DM us through FB, of course, or use the ...
10/22/2020

Honey lovers, We have a new email just for you! [email protected]. You can DM us through FB, of course, or use the new email.

Honey Lovers! I'm emailing out order forms tonight for our popup sale, 10/24 - 10/30, only in Altadena. Let me know if y...
10/21/2020

Honey Lovers! I'm emailing out order forms tonight for our popup sale, 10/24 - 10/30, only in Altadena. Let me know if you don't get a form and want one. New this year is a chart on page 2 of the form where you can indicate when you want to pick up. There are some black-out times. Looking forward to seeing you!

Honey Lovers - It's been too long! We are planning a pop up sale in Altadena for later in October. Are you interested? L...
10/08/2020

Honey Lovers - It's been too long! We are planning a pop up sale in Altadena for later in October. Are you interested? Let me know and I'll send you an order form. I'll also be sending it through email, if I have yours.

Beehives and the Bobcat fire.  I am optimistic that the hives at San Olene Ridge do not look like they have burned yet. ...
09/16/2020

Beehives and the Bobcat fire. I am optimistic that the hives at San Olene Ridge do not look like they have burned yet. The first pic shows the hives inside bear protection cages with Mount Wilson and Mount Harvard in the distance. Fire has burned up to both mountains and to within 0.6 mile of the observatory. The other pics show the apiary location at the tip of a pen on computer screen. The pink color is PhosChek fire retardant and represents the current line of defense. One image is infrared. The fire line is about 150 yards to the north of the hives. Too close for comfort. Fire is part of beekeeping, but this is a close call with 2 apiaries.

I hope this research leads to some possible treatments:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-01/new-aus-research-finds-h...
09/01/2020
Honeybee venom rapidly kills aggressive breast cancer cells, Australian research finds

I hope this research leads to some possible treatments:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-01/new-aus-research-finds-honey-bee-venom-kills-breast-cancer-cells/12618064?utm_source=abc_news&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_content=link&utm_campaign=abc_news

Venom from honeybees is found to rapidly kill aggressive and hard-to-treat breast cancer cells, according to potentially groundbreaking new Australian research, with hopes the discovery will lead to the development of a treatment for triple-negative breast cancer.

08/10/2020

There really are enough cucumber blooms to go around.

06/27/2020

Slow motion morning food fest for both pollen and nectar by honeybees and some native bees at the artichoke flowers.

It’s ! About 3/4 of all flowering plants need animal pollinators like bees for reproduction. This is a good week to plan...
06/22/2020

It’s ! About 3/4 of all flowering plants need animal pollinators like bees for reproduction. This is a good week to plan your bee and butterfly garden. And here is a tiny sweat bee in Arizona.

06/17/2020

The road to one of the apiaries is lined with the last of the sage bloom, whereas the sumac and buckwheat blooms are starting or at 50% bloom. The hives in this video are collecting Premium Wildflower honey. I leave the honey boxes (supers) on for 2-3 years to capture a well balanced mix of all the honeys and pollens that the bees forage for under several different climate conditions, and that is what we call Premium Wildflower. It is a lot of work and the hives get tall and heavy, but the result is a honey with a complex taste that may support the folk remedy of helping with allergies. The chain link fence cage keeps our local black bears away from the hives.

The bees don't know what's going on in the human-centered world right now. That's a good thing. Maybe their lives can gi...
06/04/2020

The bees don't know what's going on in the human-centered world right now. That's a good thing. Maybe their lives can give us all a little comfort. Here are some images of a bee (maybe a megachilidae) making its way home.

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Altadena, CA

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The flavor profile of a honey varies depending on the dominant floral sources, location of the beehives, and the year. Wildflowers bloom at different times (or sometimes not at all) depending on the rainfall pattern each year. The flavor of cultivated flowers (avocado, jacaranda (street tree), and orange) is more reliable year after year. Our most common honey varieties include:

Altadena Gold wildflower, a summer harvest honey, gathered from native chaparral plants such as sage, sumac, toyon, buckwheat, and some garden flowers. This is a complex honey but it is more dominated by the presence of sage (most years) than Premium.

Angel’s Kiss honey, gathered at 3300 ft, includes nectar from Yerba Santa and other higher elevation wildflowers. It has a tangy flavor that is uniquely different from our other wildflowers.

Avocado honey comes from nectar gathered during avocado pollination in Temecula. The unusual strong taste is reminiscent of molasses and the honey is good used in hot cereals, winter squashes, gingerbread, and spice cakes.

Jacaranda honey comes from the lovely purple-flowered street trees that bloom in spring through early summer. The honey is dark with a slightly caramelized taste.

Orange honey is gathered from orange trees in California’s Central Valley. This has a light, floral flavor profile and is a best seller.

Premium honey is our year-round honey, harvested after a full year or sometimes two years of honey storage by the bees. It contains nectars from all of the wildflowers and some backyard garden flowers. The flavor is complex and assertive. People with allergies often buy this honey but it is also a favorite with many just because of its great taste.

Sage honey, gathered from black & white sage flowers growing in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains; sage honey is a unique California product. Sage is a light-colored and mild-flavored honey that pairs especially well with dairy (whipping cream, e.g.) and tea. A natural characteristic of sage honey is that it rarely crystalizes.

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Planning ahead...do you have a price list for the upcoming event at NHM in La in a couple of weeks?
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