“Beekeeping is like farming. You can do everything right but you can’t control the weather.” – Mama Jule Wright
Bee Wild is less than an hour outside the perimeter and the local honey is more than worth the drive. This Southern gem is more than a purveyor of sweet nectar but also a true family establishment. Generations of the Wright family have nurtured millions of bees into existence on this land. Today, they are helping to maintain the bee population in the South.
Grandfather Wright founded the farm more than 55 years ago. Today there are over 400 hives, eight apiaries and small “nukes” of starter hives. Larger boxes are producing honey with about 60,000 bees in a hive. At its lowest estimate, there are 20 million bees buzzing at Bee Wild.
A few more fun bee facts: the queen lays about 1,500 eggs a day, hatching at a similar rate. At her peak, she can lay 2,000 eggs a day with a peak hive population up to 100,000. The females are the worker bees, while the males are “stay at home dads”. The average lifespan of a honeybee is about a month in the springtime. Bees hibernate by forming a ball at the bottom of a hive then slowly migrate to the outside of the hive once it’s warming up past 60 degrees.
So let’s talk about our amazing tour of Bee Wild!
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a refreshing lavender lemonade with wildflower honey, plus savory pecans with tupelo honey.
For our tasting, the menu included local greens with chef Robert Leoci’s strawberry wildflower honey vinaigrette, plus chicken roasted in a Gallberry honey peach glaze. My favorite item we sampled were the homemade biscuits with sourwood honey.
Special thanks to Bee Wild’s proprietor John Wright for hosting us on his farm!