Bees are one of the most essential insects on the planet. First, bees are excellent pollinators. In fact, they can pollinate over 5,000 flowers in a single day. Secondly, bees produce honey, which offers numerous health advantages. For instance, honey is known to help those suffering from allergies. Consuming honey that is harvested close to where you spend most of your time offers the greatest benefits.
With these advantages in mind, Montereau has a bee program in place that benefits all residents. Keep reading to learn more about Montereau’s bee program and the many advantages it has to offer.
Fortunately, the Montereau community has everything needed for bees to thrive. The community partners with a professional beekeeper to manage the beehives. While the program is still in its infancy, the goal is to allow interested residents to wear a beekeeper suit and work directly with the beehives under the direct supervision of the professional beekeeper. For now, residents are able to participate in workshops that show how to prepare the honeycombs for extraction.
In 2023, Director of Community Services Tadd Weese and Chief Culinary Officer Tanner Thorp worked with the beekeeper to extract honeycombs from 4 of the 11 beehives at Montereau. About two dozen residents attended the workshop to prepare the honeycombs for extraction, and between 45 and 50 pounds of raw honey was collected.
To celebrate this first harvesting event, Montereau’s culinary team used about 3 cups of the raw honey collected to create the specialty drink, The Bee’s Knees. This new drink is widely popular among the residents of Montereau. The community then decided to partner with a local microbrewery to convert some of this honey into a type of mead. After receiving 30 pounds of the raw honey collected, the microbrewery created 16 liters of two types of honey-mead. Some of this honey-mead was given away as samples, and the rest is being used to create new recipes.
The greatest advantage of the Montereau Bee program is the number of benefits it offers residents of the Independent Living and Assisted Living community.
In 2023, only 4 of the 11 beehives were ready for harvest. However, these four beehives were so productive that the beekeeper had to add supers to support the hive. The other hives are expected to continue to grow and become more productive. The goal is to collect honeycombs from up to 8 hives in 2024. Additionally, two separate nectar flows, resulting in a harvest, are anticipated for 2024. This increase in collection means that the Montereau team could harvest up to 100 pounds of honey in 2024.
Plans for using this honey are in the beginning stages. For instance, the culinary team is using some of the honey to try new recipes. The good news is that honey, unless contaminated, doesn’t spoil. So, there’s plenty of time to determine the best ways to use the honey so everyone benefits.
In addition to the Bee Program, Montereau offers resort-style amenities, upscale accommodations and trained caregivers. Call Montereau today at (918) 945-1500 to learn more about our programming or to schedule a tour.
Friday, January 5, 2024
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