Monday, December 21, 2009

Queen Bee Foot Rub

I know winter has officially arrived when my skin is dry and my feet begin to crack and peel. Nothing makes me feel better than my own home made Queen Bee Foot Rub. This easy to make product requires a few simple ingredients and can be whipped at home in less than 30 minutes. If you notice that store bought moisturizing products simply sit on your skin then wash off later as a waxy mess. This is PARAFFIN wax...or simply industrial waste! It never penetrates your skin and actually prevents the beneficial oils from moisturizing. My wax of choice is pure beeswax. It's is pure, natural and emollient. Beeswax completely dissolves allowing the moisturizing oils to penetrate your skin and promote relief and healing. You will feel the difference!

Try this recipe:

6 ounces olive oil
1 ounce beeswax
1/4 teaspoon lemon essential oil
1/4 teaspoon peppermint essential oil

Wire whisk
Heat proof glass bowl
Cooking pan with water or double boiler
Stainless teaspoon

1) Measure the oil and beeswax to a
heat proof measuring glass bowl and place the bowl into a bath of boiling water.

2) Mix well with a wire whisk until the wax is nearly completely melted. Remove the bowl from the water and stir the ingredients to thoroughly combine. Add the essential oils with teaspoon and stir well.

3) While still warm and liquid pour into small plastic or glass jars being careful not to spill. Mix will harden slowly as it cools. Place caps on jars when mixture becomes room temperature.

This recipe can be easily adapted to your own preferences in scents by adding in your favorite essential oils. I use peppermint to aid in circulation and lemon as a natural antiseptic.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Honeybee Apiaries at UCONN

Yesterday afternoon, just before my book talk and honey tasting I had the great pleasure to visit the two apiaries at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. I was greeted by Suzy the event planner at their coop store who took great care of all of the details of my visit. Beekeepers and resident chefs, Amy and Steve were my tour guides. I had read about the honeybees at UCONN and saw pictures of the hives that were lovingly hand painted by the students so I was thrilled to have a private tour with their own beekeepers.

Here are photos of both bee yards where you can see the hives are wrapped for the winter. This helps keep the hive warm throughout the long cold New England winters. We spied a few girls gathered at the entrance. Unfortunately, the artwork was covered up but when we visited their bee barn where the equipment was stored I got a glimpse of the art first hand. This is truly where art meets beekeeping and science!

Here you see two honey filled frames ready to be extracted. Lucky to have a honey harvest kitchen all to themselves, Amy and Steve gifted me with a jar of UCONN's own spectacular honey. This is just the sort of thing us beekeepers rhapsodize over. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the bookstore where a group of beekeepers, honey lovers and enthusiast and listened to my stories and experiences as a beekeeper then enjoyed my own honey offerings. Promising to keep in touch, I hope to visit the apiary again this time in spring when the bees are flying!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Holiday Open House

Red Bee is opening it's doors for our friends! Come visit, enjoy a cup of tea and our own honey while sitting near a warm fire. We are offering a spectacular selection of our own products handmade here at our charming red cottages.

Your favorite olive and honey soaps, honey facial scrub mask, body oil, bath salts, lip balms our signature honeybee butter balm, rescue salve and lip balms. Pure beeswax candles dinner tapers and lovely pine cones and asparagus shapes.

We will treat you to a honey tasting of our our own estate and
limited harvested wildflower and clover honey and honeycomb.

Delicious blueberry, goldenrod, clover, alfalfa, buckwheat, tupelo and
orange blossom served with cheese and crackers.
This will be a special treat and a weekend not to be missed.

Come pick up a signed copy of my new book
HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper!

RSVP...Let us know your coming!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

HONEYBEE Book Tour Begins

Oh my, it's already here! Time to leave for the west coast leg of my "HONEYBEE Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper" tour. Tomorrow, Friday morning I will be up before the sun rises and flying off to San Francisco. Next Portland, Seattle then another engagement in SF then to Tuscon and finally Texas! These are all places I confess I have never been to. Well, I am lying-I did go to SF for a week with my parents. I don't remember a thing back then. Lucky for me, Facebook has helped me reach out to old friends I would never had been able to find otherwise and meet up in each one of these cities. This is truly a twenty first century luxury that will make my travels much more exciting and definitely memorable.

If you would like to follow my schedule visit the events page on my web site at or friend me on Facebook at Red Bee Marina. There will be a few live radio interviews posted. This way we can keep in touch! Hope to see you there! Marina

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

English Tea with English Honey by English Beekeepers

Last weekend our English beekeeping friends Lillian and John were visiting their family here in CT. When they visit we always get together and exchange information and updates on how our bee season is going. They reported to have harvested some 3,000 lbs of honey this year and are always thoughtful enough to bring us a jar of their special harvest. Their Oxfordshire honey is close to white in color with a hint of warm yellow. As you can see from the picture it is practically pure cream in texture yet with a gentle granular texture. I love how honey can have these two completely different qualities in the same mouthfull. Not only did we get to indulge in their honey, we were treated to a traditional English tea party! Below are a few photos of the offerings...

ABOVE: Lovely cucumber sandwiches, crustless in the traditional style, English Breakfast tea with bee designed napkins...a thoughtful touch. BELOW: Scones with strawberry jam and REAL clotted creme! It was all so heavenly and a chance to relax and while reflecting over the bees who bring us such lovely indulgences.

My Recipe for Traditional English Scones:

Yield: 1 dozen
Level: easy
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Sprinkle the raisins over the dough and gently fold them in. Using an ice-cream scoop, place mounds of dough on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve the scones warm, with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's in my Garden this week?

Hello September, Summer is winding down yet this is the time of year when our gardens produce the best harvest. The early spring rain gave every living thing a very late start and these last few weeks of warmer temperatures and full sunshine my garden is looking...well quite nice! This year we had an amazing crop of garlic, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, butternut squash, melons, basil, oregano, chamomile, catnip, fennel, mints and edible flowers! Our baby Americana chickies have grown up and begun laying brilliant blue eggs! We also harvested some fresh honey from our hives. No need to go shopping...I think I'll just shop in my own backyard! Now that is the definition of sustainable.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hungry honeybees...

The other day I thought it would be a good idea to take some new photos of my honey jars outside. So I set up a few props on a wooden table in my yard and styled them for a bee-utiful shot. My phone rang while I was arranging things so I ran inside to pick it up. I have no idea how long the conversation went on but it must have been close to ten minutes. When I returned to begin shooting this is what I found. Hungry honeybees enjoying the box of honeycomb. Some how they managed to open the plastic case and were happily dining on their own good stuff. After about an hour or so the plastic lid was moved a few inches as they polished off the last few nibbles bees wax and all.
So I left them to enjoy their last bit of honey goodness and decided to shoot these photos anyway.

Accidental Beekeeper Lesson: Never leave your honey unattended even to answer the phone!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blueberries, Honey bees and Coffee Cake

Yesterday I ventured out into the evening humidity to pick some blueberries for fun. After a long hike through the trails at Trout Brook Valley land trust, I arrived at the infamous gate that instructs visitors to turn right, go down the hill to the patch where the blueberries reside. Carrying my basket, bug spray and a bottle of Pellegrino in great anticipation of encountering fresh blueberries, I continued my quest downhill to a huge field. I arrived at a manicured field of bushes neatly lined up and each baring clusters of plump blueberries dangling for the picking. Without hesitation, I plucked the first and popped it into my mouth. A mini explosion took place as I crushed the berry between my tongue and roof of my mouth. Firm in texture, sweet and sour all at the same time, fresh blueberries are nothing like the ones you find at your corner store. And these wild blueberries are truly pesticide free, if you can believe that. The local honey bees love the mini white blossoms that give way to these fruits that range in color from ultramarine to violet. When honeybees gather nectar from the blueberry blossoms, beekeepers harvest blueberry honey! Yep! It's true, there is a blueberry honey and it is one of my favorites. Blueberry honey is light to medium amber in color. It has a smooth texture with hints of fruity blueberries and lemon and it is so buttery I love to drizzle it on my favorite blueberry coffee cake. Recipe below:


  • 2 cups freshly picked blueberries, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Red Bee® Blueberry Blossom Honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place blueberries in bottom of greased 9-inch round cake pan; distribute evenly. Sprinkle with flour; drizzle with honey and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine honey, eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla; beat with folk until well mixed. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in melted butter; mix well. Pour batter over blueberries in pan; spread to cover evenly. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert cake onto large plate; cool.

Red Bee® Blueberry Blossom Honey

Friday, July 24, 2009

Honey Bee Open House

What’s Buzzing at the New Canaan Nature Center?
Honey Bee Open House

144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT 06840
Phone: (203) 966-9577
Saturday, July 25, 2009
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Did you know that one third of our food is pollinated by honeybees? Did you know that we have lost 50% of our honeybees in the United States due to environmental stresses and a little known condition called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?

Everyone is invited to our Honey Bee Open House to learn more about honey bees and honey, pollination, the amazing health benefits and the importance to our environment and ecosystem.

  • 10:00AM Unveiling of the new honeybee observation hive in the Discovery Room
  • 11:00AM – Noon Marina Marchese, owner of Red Bee Honey will share her experiences as a beekeeper and conduct a honey tasting to highlight different nectar sources that create each unique flavor profile
  • Noon – 1:00PM Encaustics (beeswax) art demonstration with Silvermine Guild artist Elizabeth Back, Nash Hyon, Kari Englehart, Leslie Guiliani and Maria Marchese
  • 1:00PM Wildflower walk & talk
  • 1:30PM Honeybee costume parade - prizes will be awarded!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Divine Desserts à la Honeybee

Last night was the Back Yard Beekeeper's Annual Pot Luck dinner. This is where local beekeeper's get to actually hangout with fellow beekeeper's, eat some delicious food, chat and chill. There are no lecture's or presentations by famous entomologist, no how to or hands on work shops, it is the only time of the whole year we get to enjoy each others company. I am writing to share three spectacular desserts that were prepared by our talented members. All were painstakingly prepared and each truly a work of art!

First you must see these hand decorated cupcakes by beekeeper and artist Heather Mezzacappa (above) featured icing pipped into a honeybee and a detailed blue flower. Cleverly displayed upon a tiered cupcake rack these treasures were dripping with luscious frosting too beautiful to actually devour.
Cupcakes are all the rage right now and these earn high marks for their delicate colors and authentic cupcake flavor.

Now for the craftiest of all desserts, mini Marzipan honeybee bites. Prepared by beekeeper and restauranteur Bobbie Meyzen. These honeybees are actually mini marzipan sculptures with chocolate striped bodies and sliced almond wings. I nabbed my early on with no intentions on devouring this darling confection. Absolutely lovely!

Another cupcake offering by beekeeper and crafty Stefanie Baum. Each one looks like it was hand stamped with an embossed bee skep design then hand tinted for a stained glass effect. I have no idea how this effect was created but I am sure it was not easy to get them absolutely perfect. Shredded coconut framed the edges of each giving them a three dimensional textural quality. Each one of these desserts are no short of award winning in my book. I was charmed by the artistry of these divine desserts.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peanut Brittle with Red Bee® Honey

Behind the Burner's host Divya plans a Perfect Summer picnic with easy recipes for a breezy bean salad, sumptuous sandwiches and perfect peanut brittle using Red Bee® wildflower honey! This recipe is so easy that I tried it at home and it turned out fabuloso! For those of you who are impatient the peanut brittle with honey recipe begins at three minutes into the video.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Red Bee® at Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe

Our friend Glen Colello at Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe in West Haven Connecticut hosted a honeybee educational talk to introduce the vast benefits that the honeybee has to offer. Also, I got a chance to introduce my new book Honeybee: Lessons of an Accidental Beekeeper due out in September!

If you are looking for some REAL food they serve truly delicious raw food that is amazing and will change the way you think about eating. You will also be delighted to know they carry hard to find ingredients like authentic cacao, goji berries, seeds for sprouting and other natural products.

Catch a Healthy Habit CAFE

487A Campbell Ave West Haven CT 06516

Located inside the “Look At Me Now” Wellness Center

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Friday, June 19, 2009

The First Annual Beekeepers Ball

Black Dog & Leventhal publisher of
HONEYBEE: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper
and Red Bee ®
cordially invite you to

The First Annual Beekeepers Ball
Monday, June 22, 2009
6:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Water Taxi Beach - South Street Seaport
Pier 17 - 89 South St
New York, NY 10038

Just Food & the Pollinator Week Planning Committee

A not-to-be missed evening full of sweetness and buzz...
Indulge in the nectar of honey-infused drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Waggle dance the night away on the shore of the beautiful,
new South Street Seaport Water Taxi Beach.

If the spirit moves you, come dressed as a Beekeeper (all in white)
or as your favorite bee (Queen, Worker, Drone).
Costumes will be awarded. Chil
dren in bee costumes come for free!

Bring your local honey or find a new one.
Bee there.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bee Day!

Last Saturday was Bee Hiving day here at Red Bee Apiary. We picked up our girls in Vista, NY bright and early with great anticipation. They seemed quite content while I poured each box into their new hives. No major incidents just a lovely day with my honeybees. The hives are set high up on a hill behind our meditating Buddha statue overlooking the gardens.
There they get full sun early in the morning so my girls get up and out to work. This year I cleaned up all my hives by torching the insides as to remove any unwanted bacteria or pests that may be lingering inside. Also, I replaced all the frames and foundation so my honeybees are starting out with all new fresh equipment. They will be happy about that! A clean hive.

Our beautiful rooster who I call Oscar Wilde, he definitely is dressed in drag, did not seem to mind a few new honeybee hives around his hens.

If you want a life where you can eat all day...come back as a chicken. Literally, they eat ALL DAY LONG and don't seem to gain a pound. We have free range, fresh eggs daily and of course honey!

I do want to share with you the details of my upcoming book HONEYBEE Lessons from and Accidental Beekeeper. Its due out in September! It is my personal story of how I began keeping honeybees. These amazing creatures quickly took over my life and that first taste of fresh honey from the beehive was incredibly delicious enough for me to dive in and learn more. I uncovered so much fascinating information along my journey that honey and beekeeping is now a full time adventure and I made it my life. Stay Tuned for more about my book and events I will be participating in! Here is a sneak preview of the cover.......

Red Bee ® will be at the New Canaan Farmers Market each Saturday 10-2pm and Ridgefield on Fridays 3-7 pm. We've been invited to so many new markets this year we cannot keep up. We will have our honey for sale in many other markets by volunteers so keep an eye out for Red Bee ® products. For those readers from other places we are located in Connecticut. Hope to see you there!

If you are in the neighborhood and want to stop by to pick up some honey or any of our other handmade pure and sustainable skin care just let us know you are coming so we can greet you!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Signs of Spring-2009

As the first of our crocuses begin to pop their bright purple heads up from beneath the frozen ground, I spotted honeybees dancing around them. This worker bee in the photo was covered with bright orange pollen and as I watched her sipping nectar to bring back to her hive. Finally, spring has arrived but not without a fight. Here in Connecticut we were slapped with over a foot of snow on March 2nd and tomorrow will be April 1st- the ground is still frozen but the sun is shining. It was a long, bitter winter here and I have been in my own self imposed hibernation, reading and writing but not blogging-apologies.

I did manage to escape for a week with my honey to the deserts of Arizona and we hunted around for beekeepers and native honeys. There I discovered prickily pear and saguaro, two types of cactus honey and something called cats claw. Cats claw is an herb and it's honey is delicious with flavors of the desert. Catcus honeys are exotic and fruity. You must try them when you visit Arizona. These plants are unique to the desert and the bees are all over them. I was treated to an unexpected honey tasting by an artist who lives off-the-grid in a remote part of the desert. I had the pleasure to taste their local Rodeo honey which is a rare brand to find since the beekeeper has retired. Needless to say, I brought back one suitcase dedicated to just desert honeys.

The rest of the winter was spent researching and writing for my upcoming book where I share my experiences as a hobbyist beekeeper and my love of honey. Due to be released on September 1st stay tuned for details.

Red Bee ® has many events planned for this year, our favorites are presenting honey tastings at fundraisers for Share Our Strength which raises money for Childhood hunger. We will be returning to our local farmers markets and even hosting some events here at our apiary. Check our events page on our web site for details.

Happy Spring-Beekeeping season has finally begun!


Camembert Grape Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

- Makes 4 servings -


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 3/4 lb. seedless grapes
  • 3/4 lb. sliced fresh figs, apricots, plums or nectarines
  • 4 oz. camembert or brie cheese, cut into narrow wedges
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 2 quarts salad greens


Combine honey, vinegar, oil, orange juice and poppy seeds in a jar. Shake well. Arrange clusters of grapes, fruit, cheese wedges and pecans on salad greens. Shake dressing and drizzle over salads. Refrigerate any remaining dressing.