Monday, November 10, 2008


It's that time of the year again, the air is crispy, dusk begins at 4:30 pm and I keep the fireplace in my studio burning constantly. Either there is soup is simmering on the stove or the tea pot is singing, we are well into Autumn! Actually, its already November and Thanksgiving is only two weeks away. I am planning my annual special traditional holiday meal for friends on that Saturday after Thanksgiving. This meal is made with the same love but it is relaxed and a time to catch up. There is lots to do and planning along the way, I remember there are so many things to give thanks for. Friends, family, my health, my home, good food and even honey sales are steady in this uncertain economy. Everyone has their own personal list and we should not have to think about it too hard. After all, Gratitude increases your bodies natural antibodies, lowers blood pressure and heals your soul. So while checking out the Thanksgiving recipes below make sure you have some gratitude on hand and a bottle of Red Bee Honey.

Herbed Turkey Breast

Makes 6 servings
  • 1/2 cup Red Bee Honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sage, dried
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 boneless, skinless turkey breast, about 2 lbs.
Method: Preheat broiler. Position oven rack 6 inches from heat source. Combine honey, orange juice, butter, sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Place turkey breast on rack set in broiler pan. Brush with some of honey mixture. Broil, brushing frequently with remaining mixture, turning turkey once, until no longer pink inside, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Honey Orange Cranberry Relish

Makes 8 servings
  • 1 medium orange
  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed, picked over and drained
  • 3/4 cup Red Bee Honey
  • 1 T. finely grated orange peel, orange part only
  • 2 lbs. sliced, roasted turkey breast
Method: Quarter and slice unpeeled orange, removing seeds. Coarsely chop orange and cranberries. Place in medium saucepan and stir in honey. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes; cool. Stir in orange peel. Serve over turkey or dressing for turkey sandwiches.

Honey-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Makes 4 servings
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Red Bee Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
Method: Wash and pierce potatoes or yams. Place on a piece of heavy-duty foil and bake at 375°F for 40 to 50 minutes until just tender. Cool, peel and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Spray 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place cooked potatoes or yams in dish; set aside. In small pan, combine orange juice, honey, cornstarch, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir until smooth. Cook over medium-high heat stirring until thick and mixture begins to boil. Stir and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour over potatoes or yams stirring to coat. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes until hot and potatoes are tender.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dry Skin IS Scary...Honeybees can Help!

Halloween is on it's way and the air has suddenly become cold and dry. If you are anything like me your skin is feeling a bit scary lately and you may feel like hidding behind a mask. Autumn weather always makes me itchy and uncomfortable and I need extra moisture. Over the years, I have tried every fancy and expensive product and nothing is nearly as moisturizing as the raw thing. When I say raw, I mean the basic ingredients minus the perfumes, alcohols, preservatives, fillers etc. Ingredients that a normal human can actually read and understand. Things found in your own kitchen cupboards or ingredients one might eat as well as put on their skin. The truth is that what you put on your skin absorbs into your body so you want to be sure that your skin care is good for you too, inside and out. We all heard the saying "you are what you eat" well, "you are what you wear on your skin too." Around here, we wear the purest skin care. Red Bee ® products are made with pure ingredients from nature.

Have you tried our new Honey Facial Scrub Mask? Made with pure creamy honey crystallized into tiny granules that gently exfoliate. Honey is hydroscopic meaning it actually absorbs moisture to it while on your skin and the avocado oil and coconut butter hydrate deeply into your skin. All these good things are held together with pure beeswax...NOT paraffin. You will feel the difference immediately. Our customers have raved about this new product and it takes only a few minutes to clean and hydrate in one easy step and so worth it. I wore it on my face while writing this post. So treat yourself to something sweet for Halloween! A Creamy Honey Facial Scrub from Red Bee.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Goddess Yogurt Honey Mask

Cleopatra was know to have beautiful skin because of her famous baths of milk and honey. This recipe is so simple and really does rejuvenate your skin.

Servings: 1

Prep Time: 1 minute

Shelf Life: None


1 tablespoon yogurt, plain whole milk

1 tablespoon honey
1 drop Rose or lavender essential oil, optional

Add all ingredients together at room temperature.
Pat this mask onto the skin for a moisturizing,
hydrating, soothing application that will also help to clear
up skin problems. Leave on face for up to 20 minutes.

Rinse in the shower or with a warm clean face cloth.
Moisture as you wish.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beekeeper as Artist Encaustic Beeswax Art Show

Finally, this September I will be having my first solo exhibit of my newest beeswax encaustic paintings. The show will be called appropriately "Beekeeper as Artist." I hope you can all come to the reception on September 17th from 5:30 till 7:30 pm at the Bartlett Arboretum in Stamford. If you've never seen this place it is a hidden treasure with fabulous gardens and an old cottage where my work will be displayed. I am extremely excited to be showing my work here. Of course, there will be a honey tasting for guest to indulge in, paired off with cheeses and my favorite picks of wines.

Some of you may notice that I chose to print up my invitation completely in Italian. Many of you may not be able to speak or write another language but I think the information will be pretty clear even if you are not bi or tri-lingual. This is just my way of continually embracing my Italian heritage and immersing myself in the culture of La Dolce Vita. I am hoping to have my next show in Rome sometime next year. Hope you can come! Afterwards, stay at my
bee farm in Puglia. It is going to be a completely renovated agriturisimo meaning farm bed and breakfast. Details to follow.

Here is a sneak preview of my first self portrait in encaustic beeswax. I'm pretty happy with it and definitely my whimsical illustration style comes through here.
Below I am posting my artist statement:

I was unexpectedly drawn to encaustic painting 8 years ago when I first became a beekeeper; this highly provocative medium has its rich roots in the ancestral land of my forefathers, Italy, specifically the paintings at Pompeii. Encaustic, meaning “burned in” is beeswax mixed with pigments that is melted on a heated palette. It is applied to a surface to fuse the bees wax and paint together. The beauty of encaustics is the unpredictability and flexibility that gives the artist its own voice. To me, there is nothing more seductive than the smell of bees wax melting in my studio. Encaustic painting lends itself to my whimsical sense of color, texture and pattern that were my signature as a commercial illustrator. The works seen here are my personal attempt to translate my illustration style into unrestraint and freedom from art direction and manic deadlines!

A good time is guaranteed for all. Gradisca!

The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
151 Brookdale Road Stamford, CT 06903
Opening reception:
Thursday, September 18, 2008 5:30 till 7:30 PM
Vox: 203.322.6971

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ferrogosto Honeycomb!

August is here and beside celebrating Ferrogosto,
in celebration of our Honey harvest. Derived from two Latin words, Feriae Augusti, meaning August rest. In ancient Rome after the cereal crops were harvested, there was a large celebration for the farmers and the draft animals. They were given a well-deserved rest: they were even adorned with many flowers. These celebrations were also in honor of the Emperor Augustus Caesar, and the main day of this celebration was August 15th. We have removed frames of honeycomb from our hives and cut them neatly to be sold as boxes of our ever popular honeycomb! Here is a photo of a perfectly filled deep frame of honey. Honeycomb is truly natures perfect food.

If you've never had the pleasure of tasting this truly divine treat this is a must before you die and go to Naples. I recommend first spreading this on your favorite piece of toast. You can add some butter first. Who does not love honey butter? My next recommendation is spreading some honeycomb onto a cracker or piece of baguette then spreading a little brie, goat or any triple creme style cheese. You might think about your last rites beforehand because these are matches made only on heaven!

“Can you eat the wax?” Asked a shopper at our local farmers market, “YES! You can and it is divine”, I answered with great enthusiasm. This age old question was referring to the bees wax of our Red Bee® honeycomb. If you’ve never had the pleasure to taste this rare delicacy, honeycomb is that clear box of nature’s purest honey still in its original wax. Charles Darwin described honeycomb, as a masterpiece of engineering that is "absolutely perfect in economizing labor and wax." We at Red Bee® think honeycomb is honest to goodness raw honey. Raw honey, meaning unheated, contains minerals and vitamins and is a quick source of energy. When you spread honeycomb on a slice of bread, the honey oozes out of the tiny wax cells exposing it for the first time to the air, making it unconditionally fresh, straight from our own beehives. Unknown to many; honeycomb also relieves sinus pressure and sore throats.
It takes about 556 worker bees to gather 1 pound of honey from about 2 million flowers. The process begins with the female worker bee; who begins foraging at the first 3 to 4 weeks of her life. Forager bees gather up nectar and pollen by visiting flowers within 2-3 miles of their hive. She sucks up the flowers nectar with her long, tube-like tongue and stores it in her special honey sac stomach. This stomach is separate from her digestive stomach. She carries the nectar back to the hive. The nectar is mixed with the worker bee’s own enzyme called invertase inside her honey stomach to make the honey ripen. Then it is stored in the hexagonal shaped honeycombs made from beeswax. Worker bees within the hive fan the liquid nectar with their wings, which helps to evaporate the extra water and bring the water content to 18% and thus thicken the nectar into honey. Honey is harvested each autumn and it takes a whole year, beginning in the spring for the honeybees to make an over surplus of honey again. Besides making honey, bees are responsible for pollinating 100 fruits, vegetables and nuts making up 1/3 of the human diet. Honeybees are vital to human survival.

In ancient times, honey was highly valued and often used as a form of currency or offering. The ancient Romans paid their taxes with honey, as did the Egyptians and Aztecs of Central America. Honey also has a rich culinary history as nature’s oldest sweetener and preservative for baked goods. Traditional Rosh Hashana rituals include dipping apples into honey. A natural accompaniment to all food groups, you will be delighted to find that honeycomb pairs exceptionally well with Murray’s cheeses, yogurts and crackers. Just take a small butter or cheese knife and dig in, spread this divine treat on toast or baguette. We suggest pairing it with goat or Brie cheeses. What a brilliant idea to serve a chunk of honeycomb as the centerpiece for your next cheese platter. Garnish it with some marcona almonds, fresh pears or figs and bread, your guest will be enchanted to experience honey in the classical European tradition. Did you know that honey never needs refrigeration and never spoils so give the gift of a honeycomb for the holidays. Get yourself some honeycomb today!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bee~auty and the Honeybee

Dry, flaky, skin? Honey will sooth your dry, flaky skin by naturally adding moisture. You thought honey was only good for afternoon tea on a cold winters night. Well, honey has been used as a healing aid since the days of Cleopatra and it continues to be used today in products for skin and hair care. Because of the hydroscopic qualities of honey, it absorbs water and causes the skin to hold moisture.

Try this easy Springtime Refresher
Honey Aloe Facial Mask

Honey Aloe Facial Mask, with its blend of fresh aloe and honey, was so soothing and brings immediate relief to dry or chapped skin. The whipping cream will soften as well. You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils if you'd like.

Servings: 16 oz.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Shelf Life: None, keep refrigerated

13 ounces aloe fresh leaf aloe from your aloe plant or store bought aloe gel
1/4 cup of Red Bee® Honey
1/4 cup organic whipping cream
1 cup rolled oats, uncooked

Blending Procedure:
Cut the aloe from your plant and weigh 6 ounces. Wash the aloe under warm running water. Place entire aloe leaf in a food processor and process until very watery.

Add honey and cream and process further to mix. Add oats and process until a paste-like mixture forms. If mixture is too runny, add more oats and process until it thickens. If it's too thick, add more cream or a bit more aloe. To use, apply a smooth layer to freshly cleaned face and rest for about 15 minutes until mask hardens. Remove with a soft towel soaked in water or remove simply by rinsing from face until mask is gone. Pat excess water from face and follow with moisturizer of your choice.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I've become a Honey Sommelier!

For those of you who still think of honey as a condiment well have I got news for you. I have just returned from the University of Georgia's annual Beekeeping Institute where I learned the art of honey judging. I studied under the finest, Robert Brewer, co-founder of the Institute, coordinator of their Master Beekeeper program and Certified Welsh Honey Judge. Yes, there are honey judging shows! Honey is respected all over the world similar to wine and olive oil and now these standards have crossed the Atlantic and landed in Georgia. The program consist of a class based upon the Welsh credentials and an opportunity to steward (assist) in a real honey show. Judges adorn a white lab coat and fedora style cap seen in the photo above of world decorated honey judge Michael Young of Dublin. (The one holding the jar of honey)

Michael is a chef, artist, life long beekeeper and founder of the Welsh Beekeepers Association. He holds 3 prestigious certifications for honey judging. I had the pleasure to meet him back in 2003 at
London's National Honey Show where hundreds of beekeepers enter their honey and at numerous beekeeping educational programs. This talented and gracious man personally extended an invitation to me to contact Robert directly and take the course to become a certified honey judge.

Robert and Michael are responsible for raising the esteem of honey among beekeepers here in the U.S. Honey judges evaluate honey on color, clarity, smell, taste and presentation. Who knew honey tasting was a high art? I've presented similar honey tastings at Murray's Cheese Shop (I wrote about it on my earlier blog post) and many of Red Bee's customers. Guest are always surprised to learn that there is more than one type of honey besides what you find in that silly plastic bear on grocery store shelves. Hummmm...maybe this is why some people claim not to like honey. Obviously, they've never tried blueberry blossom or comb honey.

There are approximately 300 different honeys found in the U.S. alone each with its own flavor based upon the nectar source of individual flowers foraged by the honeybees. This is the basis of my recently completed book titled Honey Sommelier, honey is a gourmet worthy food that can be tasted and evalutaed similar to wine. I have collected and researched some 200 different honeys from around the United States and the globe documenting nectar sources, color, tasting and pairing notes. This is the ultimate honey lovers resource guide that will change the way many think about honey by your local Honey Sommelier.

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Far East Designer Honey

Before you spend a Yen on cosmetic surgery you should know about designer honey for all your beauty needs. On my recent trip to the fashionable Harajuku shopping district of Japan, I came across a new product called Hacci Honey 1912. The booth looked like your typical cosmetic counter in a shopping mall anywhere, USA. There I found elegant bottles of honey for eating as well a cosmetic uses. Honey has a rich history as a beauty treatment and Cleopatra was said to take baths in milk and honey. This designer style Hacci Honey was presented in tasteful hex jars, eye dropper bottles and even a sophisticated silk scarf a la Hermes with the Hacci Honey 1912 logo. The 1912 is definitely was a western touch with an attempt to give provenance to this unique Japanese product.

As I browsed the wares, the sales girls offered me a chance to taste or wear their honey. I politely refused the opportunity to have a sticky face in public but enjoyed a sample taste of something called Grand Bloom Honey. It was sampled to me with a lovely, spoon and I found it delicious. Pricing of these honey items were outrageous and one small bottle of honey was $35.00 USD but I had to have one for the packaging alone. The Japanese are so far ahead in their design sensibilities and price is no object when creating new products. Reminding me of Italian conviction for design. Hacci Honey is truly an original and I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up on Fifth avenue in New York City.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Looking for something spectacular to indulge into? Recently, I was contacted by new gourmet food web site that was interested in our products. Savorique is a French style inspired gourmet food site that sells all things delicious and delectable including Red Bee honey. We are thrilled to death to be in the good company of Knipschildt fine chocolates and Academia Barilla. This web site is designed so beautifully and we even got our own page! Check it out at

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bees Wax Encaustic Art at White Silo Winery

Kismet is another word for fate. It is derived from the Arabic term qisma, modified in Persian as qismat and then from Turkish, it came into English usage. We all know that moment when two different things in our daily lives that seems random meet up and harmonize together. I found kismet when my illustration style met up with a new found media called encaustic painting.

I was unexpectedly drawn to encaustic painting 8 years ago when I first became a beekeeper; this highly provocative medium has its rich roots in the ancestral land of my forefathers, Italy, specifically the paintings at Pompeii. Encaustic, meaning “burned in” is beeswax, a natural wax produced by honeybees mixed with pigments that is melted on a heated palette. It is applied to a surface to fuse the bees wax and paint together. Bees wax has an illustrious history from the paintings in the cave at Lascaux to the Egyptian mummies, it was so valuable in ancient Rome that it was an acceptable form of payment for taxes.

The beauty of encaustics is the unpredictability and flexibility that gives the artist its own voice. To me, there is nothing more seductive than the smell of pure bees wax melting in my studio or in the bee yard. Encaustic painting lends itself to my whimsical sense of color, texture and pattern that were my signature as a commercial illustrator. The works seen here are my personal attempt to translate my illustration style into unrestraint and freedom from art direction and manic deadlines.

June 20th - July 6th, 2008
Exhibition of Encaustic Art at The White Silo Winery

32 Rt. 37 East, Sherman, CT 06784
Tel: 860.355.0271

Friday, February 15, 2008

Honey & Cheese Class

For those of you who missed this fabulous How Sweet It Is: Cheese and Honey Class at Murray's Cheese Shop down on Bleeker Street, here are the pictures! Guest were treated to a Tasting and Pairing of 7 of Murray's finest artisan cheeses and 7 varietal honeys from us at Red Bee Honey. Amy Sisti, Murray' mail order manager is seen on the left and Taylor Cocalis, Murray's Class coordinator on the right and me in the middle.Take a peek at how these ladies set up each place setting for the event. All 24 place setting were spectacular each with its own red and white wine and Lurisa Italian bottled water. The cheese were set up in a clockwise fashion beginning at 12 noon and the honeys presented in line to pair up with each cheese. For more detailed information about the cheeses and honeys visit our Recipe pages.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Help The Honeybees, Plant a Garden!

I can't believe its snowing! There is already 4 inches on the ground and my red jeep is completely covered. Tomorrow is my big day at Murray's Cheese Shop on Bleeker Street, I am co-hosting a pre-Valentine Honey and Cheese Tasting class with their mail order manager, Amy Sisti. All my bottles of honey samples and beekeeping paraphernalia are packed up and ready to go into the city. This class has been full for almost a month now and it's SNOWING!

But I am thinking Spring and earlier this week I designed this sweet little postcard to give to our customers. Each card would have a packet of seeds from our own Red Bee Honey Gardens and a list of additional flowers honeybees love. By planting this packet of seeds in a sunny place in your yard, a garden pot or window box, you can help the honeybees by creating your own honeybee garden. Honeybees not only make our sumptuous wildflower honey, they pollinate over 100 crops and flowers that provide almost one third of the food we eat. So more flowers means more honeybees, a healthier world and more real food. Simply put honeybees are vital to the survival of the human race. So when you order Red Bee Honey or any products from out web site you will receive a gift of a simple sweet postcard with a packet of seeds. Help the honeybees, Plant a Garden!

You can help the honeybees with a few simple techniques. Plant your flowers in clusters that are colorful and contrast well with their environment. Purple and blue are bees' favorite colors, followed by yellow and orange. Native flowers that bloom successively over the spring, summer, and fall provide pollen and nectar sources vital to the survival of bees. They will need a source of water like a pond, birdbath, or even dripping faucet. Choose non-toxic or organic pesticides, and do so in the late evening when most bees have gone into the hive for the evening. Piles of undisturbed leaves or brush create a natural place for wild bees to nest. Lastly, bees will appreciate your weeds like clover and dandelions so let them be.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hooray for Honey

Honey is nice on toast and yes, on band-aids. Many would think you were mad if you told them you put honey on a cut or scrape and earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration would have agreed. But this past July, Derma Sciences, a manufacturer of products for wound and skin care, received FDA clearance for its Active Manuka Honey product called API-MEDTM. This will be the FIRST time a honey-based product has been approved in the United States as a medical treatment specifically for 1st and 2nd degree burns, traumatic and surgical wounds.

Largely unknown to Americans, honey especially Manuka, has been used for years as a medical treatment in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Manuka honey is gathered in New Zealand from the Manuka bush, Leptospermum scoparium, which grows uncultivated throughout the country. Beekeepers set their hives close to tea trees for only 6 weeks and the bees gather the nectar to make Manuka honey. It has been documented that the ancient Egyptians already knew that honey had miraculous healing powers. The world’s oldest known medical treatise, a papyrus dating from the 17th century BC, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is written in hieratic script, a more abstract form than hieroglyphics. It recommends using honey on open wounds, revealing that the benefits of honey have been understood for a very long time. Today, beekeepers and apitherapist value the use of honey to further good health and to treat a variety of illnesses like sore throats, allergies, ulcers, eczema and burns.

All raw honeys have health benefits but certain kinds of Manuka honey have a higher antimicrobial healing property and are rated with a Unique Manuka Factor number. The higher the UMF is the higher the concentrate and expensive the honey. A honey with a UMF rating of 10 is the lowest to qualify as a UMF honey. Honey helps wounds because its thickness provides a protective barrier and reduces inflammation. The hydrogen peroxide it produces, when the enzyme glucose oxidase is met with oxygen and bodily fluids, is released slowly, killing germs in the wound. While amino acids and vitamin C speed the growth of healthy tissue. Honey even makes wounds smell better. At last, honeys health applications are slowly gaining respectability. There maybe no such thing as a miracle cure but Manuka honey is coming really close and besides honey is the only product you can eat or wear.