14 Dec2005

Many readers have asked me where to get really good pure honey locally. honey1I have so far opted to suggest imported bottled honeys as they seem to have the most consistent quality and attention to detail regarding say the source of the honey such as a particular flower on some Italian mountainside. So I was just bowled over, incredibly thrilled and amazed when we sampled the honey at the Bohol Bee Farm over the weekend. They had three different types of 100% pure honey made the old-fashioned way… a dark coconut honey made from the flowers of coconut trees that I found a bit molassey in nature, a lighter colored acacia honey that was good and incredibly sweet, and my favorite of the visit, a Molave honey that was an incredible flavor standout!

I will have a couple more entries on this wonderful farm/restaurant/hotel that honey2seems to be in the middle of nowhere on the island of Panglao in Bohol…but first let’s talk honey. Victoria Wallace, the Filipina behind the Bohol Bee Farm is clearly passionate about her honey. She took us for a tour once the rains let up (bees get aggressive when they are flying back to their hives to avoid the rain…think that’s why all those old cartoons had the characters dousing themselves with water or jumping in lakes when they were being chased by a swarm of bees?) and showed us one of her bee colonies. In a small white box, each colony has one queen and 60,000 other bees.

Vicky and one of her beekeepers explained the fascinating honey4life cycle of the bees where they go from nurse bees that take care of feeding the colony, then worker bees that stay in the hive cleaning up after all the slobby older bees, chucking the dead bee carcasses, etc. then they evolve into guard bees bees that secure the entrance to the hive and refuse to let anyone in who hasn’t brought back honey or repel intruders, freeloaders, potential rapists, foreigners likes wasps, then another five days later they become field and scout bees that search out new sources of nectar. At about 40+ days, the female bees keel over and newer blood takes over. Each queen lays thousands and thousands of eggs in her lifetime and will have mated around 17 times…

Since learning it takes over 12 bees to make just a teaspoonful of pure honey, honey5I will pay more attention to using every single drop of the stuff in the future. She has over 60 colonies in Bohol many of them near stands of Acacia and Molave trees so that the bees can feast on their flowers and create the honey. The flavor of the Molave honey is just really very good—while I cannot profess to any expertise in honey, it just tasted like
”Nectar of the Gods” should taste like.
We bought five bottles to take home with us and some of them will go as presents to special friends who enjoy good food. I also managed to take this picture of Molave flowers which I have never paid notice to before. Considering how small these flowers are, I appreciate the volume of Molave honey in each jar that I bought!

There were a phenomenal number of interesting facts thrown at us ahoney3but the one that sticks is that once the male bee (drone) mates, it withers and dies. So the queen does all the managing, the females all the work, and the males just buzz around happily checking out the scenery until they decide to do it and die…Worse, their thingee falls off after the act itself! Yikes! Imagine if humans were the same way? There would be a whole lot less shaking going on! Since the drones only live 89 days, the post bee farm car jokes were centered on counting carefully then on day 88 start chasing those queens like madbees so that you got the longest lifespan and still got to do it! Heehee. But seriously, bees roles in pollination and all those good natural things is seriously underreported and underrated.

The next time you are in Panglao, I strongly recommend a morning or afternoon visit to the Bohol Bee Farm; my daughter enjoyed it immensely and my wife and I found it simply fascinating. Bohol Bee Farm, Barangay Dao, Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines. Tel 63-38-5017819 or Cell 63-917-3041491. If you call her and place a decent order, I think she will even ship it to you elsewhere in the Philippines!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Elna Smith says:

    Wow! Never heard of a bee farm in Bohol. Interesting! Would love to try their products and may be visit the farm next time am in the Phils. I love honey and use it instead of sugar for tea and other stuff that needs sweetener. Back in the Phils my source of local honey was ‘ilog maria honey bee farm’ in Silang Cavite and they’ve got some wonderful virgin honey which was my favorite. I did hear from a friend recently that the virgin honey is now selling so well that they’ve got long list of customers waiting for months to get them. If interested, you can visit http://www.ilogmaria.com

    Dec 15, 2005 | 2:30 am

     
  2. Marketman says:

    Elna, I have heard good things about ilogmaria as well…so many good things going on with bees lately…

    Dec 15, 2005 | 8:18 am

     
  3. Mila says:

    I was going to ask if you’ve visited Ilog, it’s a good place to go, plus they make all sorts of beeswax and related items. http://www.ilogmaria.com

    Dec 15, 2005 | 9:39 am

     
  4. linda says:

    What an interesting post on honey and bees. At least those drones die in ecstacy (for consuelo lang).MM, you are so naughty,amusing and funny! I love it!

    Dec 15, 2005 | 9:49 am

     
  5. Gigi says:

    Me too, MM! I love honey! Thanks for the 12 bees to a teaspoonful ratio. I can only imagine how good that Molave honey is to drizzle over mascarpone! Wowoweee! We have a trick that works to check on how pure the honey is. I learned it from my Dad. You get a matchstick and dip it in the honey and then if the matchstick still lights up then it’s real honey! Is there some truth to this?

    I love Ilog Maria! I just went there a couple of weeks back and hoarded the honey soaps and lip balm. Thanks for honey post, MM!

    Dec 15, 2005 | 10:28 am

     
  6. John says:

    it’s really interesting and very heart-warming to know that honey farming is being done here…I just love honey because of its many health benefits to man.
    I love the people who continue to do this very wonderful job… ;)
    let’s support honey farming! ;)

    Jan 5, 2006 | 11:58 am

     
  7. Ma. Theresa E. Qua says:

    Ilogmaria – Cavite

    I am interested to know about your products, especially the soap. A friend of mine gave me a set of soaps last Christmas and I find them gentle to the skin and removes all odors.

    Would like to find out if you have a shop here in Manila. I tried the number printed on a paper that goes with the soap but gives me a fax tone. Am very interested to know more about your other products.

    Would appreciate a reply.

    T. E. Qua

    Jan 10, 2006 | 12:46 pm

     
  8. tammy says:

    where can i buy ur product here in manila.. coz my pamangkin have a ashma because of help of honey di na sya masyado sinusumpong… naubusan na kasi kami.. galing mindanao yung huli naming nabili.. so we need to buy now… pls. reply we need it as sopon as possible…

    Oct 20, 2007 | 5:59 pm

     
  9. Marketman says:

    tammy, I don’t sell anything, I write about food. Did you read the post entry at all? Did you not see the contact numbers given at the end of it?

    Oct 20, 2007 | 8:59 pm

     
  10. Ian says:

    I intend to resell products of Ilog Maria here in Manila.
    Those interested, please email me at christian.alcazar@gmail.com

    Sep 30, 2008 | 11:08 pm

     
  11. leonora docto says:

    where can i buy your product. i need it be badly coz my son have always cough. please reply how i can buy your product. asap.

    Jul 11, 2009 | 6:32 am

     
 

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